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F E B R U A RY 1 6 , 2 0 1 7 - F E B R U A RY 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 | w w w. l a g n i a p p e m o b i l e . c o m ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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A bill to stop judges from overriding jury sentence recommendations is gaining traction in the Legislature.
Gov. Robert Bentley’s appointment of Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate should raise some eyebrows.
Hargrove Engineers + Constructors is breathing new life into the long-vacant WALA building in downtown Mobile.
Be it a chili cook-off, hot wing contest or king cake competition, food judging is harder than it sounds.
KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor email@example.com ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHEN CENTANNI Music Editor email@example.com J. MARK BRYANT Sports Writer firstname.lastname@example.org STEPHANIE POE Copy Editor email@example.com DANIEL ANDERSON Chief Photographer firstname.lastname@example.org LAURA RASMUSSEN Art Director www.laurarasmussen.com
The Mobile Housing Board has a lengthy waiting list and diminished stock as two of its largest housing developments are vacant.
BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive email@example.com BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive firstname.lastname@example.org ASHLEY KILLIAN Advertising Sales Executive email@example.com ALEEN MOMBERGER Advertising Sales Executive firstname.lastname@example.org MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant email@example.com
A civil lawsuit filed against various officers of the Mobile Ballet is giving a rare peek behind the curtain.
ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager firstname.lastname@example.org JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS: Lee Hedgepeth, Jeff Poor, Asia Frey, Brian Holbert, Tom Ward, Judy Stout ON THE COVER: ROGER WILLIAMS HOMES BY DANIEL ANDERSON 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com LAGNIAPPE is printed at Walton Press. All letters sent to Lagniappe are considered to be intended for publication. Member: Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and Alternative Weeklies Network All rights reserved. Something Extra Publishing, Inc. Nothing may be reprinted, photocopied or in any way reproduced without the expressed permission of the publishers. Individuals may take one copy of the paper free of charge from area businesses, racks or boxes. After that, papers are $3 per issue. Removal of more than one copy from these points constitutes theft. Violators are subject to prosecution.
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Caked Up, the DJ/producer duo comprising Las Vegas natives Oscar Wylde and Vegas Banger, will headline GlowRage Feb. 17.
Sally Field plays a lovable 60-something who pursues a younger coworker in “Hello, My Name Is Doris.”
Birmingham’s weekly newspaper turns to crowdsourcing for revenue.
Local colleges have high expectations for baseball squads as the season gets underway.
Boozie caught some Mardi Gras revelry and ball gossip.
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Take a look around Tomorrow morning millions of folks in Alabama will turn the switch, throw the car in reverse and head out for the daily responsibilities. Before leaving they’ll give a great deal of thought to where they’re headed, who they’ll see, and what they’ll do when they get there. The thing most of us almost never consider, of course, is the safety of the roads we’ll drive on or the bridges we’ll cross. That’s how we have done business here in Alabama for more than two decades and today, by any measure, all of us drive on some of the worst-maintained roads in the country. The statistics are indisputable and the evidence, if you’ll take a look around tomorrow when you hit the road again, is certainly enough to us worry about our own safety. Every day school buses in Alabama detour hundreds of bridges that are so unsafe that they have failed federal review standards. Children spend way too long bouncing in the bus seats simply because we have ignored the problem for decades. Alabama’s much-discussed “farm-to-market” road system is in deplorable condition. In a state that depends on farm and timber income to feed and support the local economy in almost every community, our road system should be one of the best in the nation. However, that isn’t the case. A study a couple of years ago by drivingexperiences.com called Alabama’s Highway 431, which stretches from the Tennessee Valley to Dothan, the “highway to hell” and listed it as one of the four most dangerous roads in the world. And, tragically, our rural road fatality rate is among the worst in the country. Over the last couple of months, we’ve worked hard to raise the public’s awareness of the crisis that lies ahead. And by now most of you have probably read and heard a great deal about a new effort to repair our roads and bridges that has been initiated by county commissioners all over the state. The project is called ATRIP-2 in an effort to continue the forward momentum we’ve made in the last four years through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improve-
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ment Program (ATRIP) initiated by Gov. Robert Bentley. This new initiative will make $1.2 billion available statewide by issuing bonds funded with an increase in the gasoline and diesel fuel tax of 3 cents per gallon. This reasonable, temporary adjustment in the tax rate will pay dividends in every community in our state. In Mobile County, the project will provide a total of $64,557,923.84 in new revenue to repair roads and bridges countywide. The injection of new money will not only allow for improvements in our transportation system, it will be a boost to the local economy, as road and bridge construction dollars turn over more than four times in the local areas. The legislation needed to establish ATRIP-2 will be introduced during this year’s regular session of the Alabama Legislature. The language of the bill will ensure that the money can only be spent on roads and bridges. It will also provide that each year the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts will audit the expenditures and have the power to make public officials repay any money that is not allocated directly to roads. No money can go to salaries, purchase of equipment or any other items. Sure, passage of the legislation will cost everyone a little extra money, but only a little. If you drive 12,000 miles a year you’ll pay an extra $1.50 per month. None of us wants to dole out any more money, but is there really any other way to improve our transportation system? Clearly, two decades of ignoring the problem has only made matters worse. I’ve spent almost 30 years working to help improve the services delivered by county governments in Alabama, and this project represents the most transparent and accountable initiative that I’ve ever seen. It is certainly focused on a problem that touches every one of us every time we get inside a vehicle. When you hit the road tomorrow, maybe it’s time for you to take a look at the conditions of the roads you drive and the bridges you cross. And, just maybe, you’ll agree that it is finally time to let your opinions be heard. Sonny Brasfield Executive Director, Association of County Commissions of Alabama
BAYBRIEF | JUSTICE
Last state standing BILL WOULD END ALABAMA’S JUDICIAL OVERRIDE POLICY
BY JASON JOHNSON
ast year, when a jury spared a man twice convicted of sexual assault and murder from the death penalty, presiding Judge Charlie Graddick was quick to suggest he thought they’d made the wrong decision. “If it was appropriate, Alabama would have allowed me to override your recommendation and maybe sentence him to death,” Graddick said of Carlos Edward Kennedy. “I could do that today, but I know we’d be right back here in the same shape as we are now.” Graddick was referring to state judges’ ability to override a jury’s recommended sentence in cases involving capital punishment. When he made those statements last May, Alabama was one of only two states that still allowed the practice. Today, it’s the only the state that still allows judicial override, but a pair of bills in the state Legislature are looking to remove that provision — one sponsored by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery and the other being pushed in the House by Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa. Though similar legislation has been filed in previous years, the fact that 2016 saw similar laws declared unconstitutional in Delaware and Florida has one of the bills, Brewbaker’s SB16, enjoying at least some bipartisan support from local lawmakers and prosecutors alike. “Early in my career, I argued for override in several capital cases, but I’ve come to realize we don’t need it. It tends to cause so many additional problems on appeal in capital cases,” Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich told Lagniappe. “Lord knows there’s already plenty of reasons why they’re appealed, but to have the sentence overridden in that appeal is even more dangerous now that Alabama is the only state that still permits judicial override.” Death penalty opponents have particularly targeted states that have permitted judicial override in the last several years, including the Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery-based nonprofit that strives to end “mass incarceration and excessive punishment” in the United States. Data compiled by EJI shows that, since 1976, Alabama judges have overridden jury verdicts 112 times — 91 percent of which changed recommended sentences of life in prison to the death penalty. Today, roughly 20 percent of current inmates on death row got there by a judicial override, which EJI claims is the “primary reason” Alabama has the highest rate of death sentences per capita. Addressing the Senate Judiciary Committee about his bill last week, Brewbaker took things even further when he suggested there could be political pressure on judges to hand down death sentences, adding that 12 of 23 overrides recorded between 2005 and 2015 occured in judicial election years. “There’s no way to take politics out of politics,” he told the committee. “It’s like taking the wet out of water. It can’t be done.” Locally, Mobile County has the second highest recorded number of judicial overrides in Alabama death penalty cases. Of the 113 overrides recorded since 1976, 17 took place in
Mobile County, compared to 13 in Montgomery County and just five in Baldwin County. It’s worth noting that some of those cases in Mobile County overrode recommended sentences for defendants that were tried multiple times, such as Phillip Tomlin, who was sentenced to death by three separate judges in 1990, 1994 and then again 1999. However, in the past four decades, only one local judge has used judicial override to downgrade a jury’s recommendation. Circuit Court Judge Michael A. Youngpeter overrode those death sentences for Michael Berry in 2012 and for Saraya Atkins last December, both of whom were convicted of capital murder and both of whom were prosecuted by Rich’s office. Instances like those are why Rich said the issue of judicial overrides encompasses more than people’s personal positions on capital punishment; it also deals with the the integrity of a jury’s decisions. “I was extremely upset with Judge Youngpeter in those cases, and I was very public about it. That’s two sentences that he’s overruled for no reason other than he didn’t believe they were deserving of the death penalty,” she said. “I believe that juries usually do the right thing for the right reasons, and we shouldn’t seek to overrule anything that a jury does in any case.” So far, Brewbaker’s legislation has cleared the judiciary committee, where it passed with help from several Democrats including Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile. However, the bill wouldn’t have passed through committee had Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, not broken from his fellow Republicans to support removing an override provision he described as “immoral and wrong.” When asked about some of the additional support removing the override provision has seen this year, Figures pointed to the death penalty statutes in Florida and Delaware that were declared unconstitutional over the past year. “Unfortunately, sometimes that’s what it takes for Alabama to get in line with what other states are doing,” Figures said. “I have always been opposed to the death penalty anyway, but that’s supposedly why we have juries — to make the decisions in those cases.” On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Mobile, told Lagniappe last week he was “pretty much in favor” of the bill because of Rich’s support. Before the session, Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Fairhope, said he was open to the discussion but added that he’d like to see a debate about situations where an override of a jury’s recommendation might be appropriate. “I fully support the death penalty, but we do to need to look at judicial override,” Pittman said. “I think it may provide an opportunity to combine some of the alternate forms of delivering the death penalty as part of a larger discussion or debate.” Though he didn’t cite it specifically, a bill Pittman filed in 2016 made national headlines due to provisions that, had it passed, would have authorized Alabama to carry out state executions by firing squad.
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BAYBRIEF | FAIRHOPE
Change comes hard CONTROVERSY IN FAIRHOPE ESCALATES FOR MAYOR, COUNCIL, AIRPORT AUTHORITY BY JANE NICHOLES
ere’s what passed for a quiet City Council meeting in Fairhope on Monday. • Dean Mosher, well-known artist and historian, plugged his YouTube video asking questions about the Fairhope Airport Authority and said he was looking forward to getting the answers. • Paul Ripp, a local blogger and longtime critic of city government, blasted the Airport Authority for hiring an attorney to investigate his activities and allegedly false claims against the board and to potentially file suit against him. • Robert Brown, a council member, said he would not respond to questions or debates originating on social media, but citizens were welcome to call him on issues. • Mayor Karin Wilson did not publicly raise her voice, interrupt the conduct of business or make any threats, all of which took place at last week’s Airport Authority meeting. Since Wilson and three new council members — Brown, Jimmy Conyers and Jay Robinson — took office in November, the workings of Fairhope city government and the authority that governs the municipal airport have become increasingly controversial, not to mention noisy. Incumbent council members Jack Burrell and Kevin Boone have been in the thick of arguments with Wilson over consultant contracts, personnel issues, the timing of a moratorium on new subdivisions and whether the city or the Airport Authority should control the municipal airport. Wilson campaigned in large part on themes of change and transparency, and when she upset longtime Mayor Tim Kant it was expected that things in Fairhope were going to be different. She faces issues such as mushrooming residential development that has put pressure on basic city services such as utilities, stormwater drainage, and planning and zoning. The new mayor repeatedly insists she is pushing hard for change in response to what the citizens want and what is in their best interests. Council members reply that they, too, were elected to represent citizens and have their best interests at heart. Last week, the Airport Authority became a flashpoint. By the end of a special called meeting, Wilson had been accused of costing taxpayers money by delaying a bond issue as interest rates rose, and she had been ejected from a closed executive session of authority board members. Wilson said she would replace three authority board members whose terms are up and would also try to remove chairman Joe McEnerney “for cause.”
Whose fault is it?
Wilson has previously questioned the 2007 purchase of 258 acres of land surrounding the airport in which the city retained the debt and the Airport Authority retained the land. The council rejected her attempts to get the airport put under direct control of the city. Meanwhile the authority has been working to refinance $7.5 million of the debt via a bond issue, but on Feb. 3 the attorney who was handling the bond issue resigned. That forced the Airport Authority to hire a new attorney before it could proceed. According to McEnerney, the original attorney and his firm wanted to maintain an ongoing working relationship with the city and felt he couldn’t close the bond issue with its chief executive opposing it. Board member Vince Boothe, via a conference call, said delays caused by the mayor had cost taxpayers some $160,000 as interest rates have risen since she took office. Leaving the audience for the authority’s table, Wilson vehemently denied being responsible for the delay and sharply criticized the authority’s handling of the refinancing process. Wilson said she was left out of discussions she asked to be part of before she took office. “You dropped the ball on this. Stop telling everybody that this is my fault,” she said. Said McEnerney, “I respectfully disagree with just about everything you said, but I’m not going to debate it with you.” Said Wilson, “I am making three new appointments March 1.”
Battling a blogger
A second issue entangling the Airport Authority is an investigation by blogger Ripp into the board’s decision to grant a hangar lease to one of its members, Ray Hix. The Alabama Ethics Commission has issued an opinion that there was no wrongdoing in the matter because Hix did not discuss or vote on the award and had no inside information. Ripp disagrees with the Ethics Commission and has conducted voluminous research. He has filed complaints with state and federal law enforcement authorities alleging criminal activity on the part of the Airport Authority. In response, the authority voted to hire well-known attorney Dennis Bailey to represent them in an investigation of Ripp, alleging that he is disseminating false information
Tenant still wanted SOUTH ALABAMA MEGA SITE REMAINS VACANT DESPITE OTHER DEVELOPMENT COUPS BY JANE NICHOLES
aldwin County is growing fast and its economic outlook is good, but its mega site is entering its fifth year without a tenant. In southwest Alabama, “Baldwin County is the only county to have positive job growth,” Lee Lawson, president of the Economic Development Alliance, told the County Commission last week. “We’ve had 4 percent job growth over the last nine years.” Lawson said Baldwin was the fastest growing county in Alabama last year based on U.S. Census projections. Housing starts and building permits are up over pre-recession levels, he said, although housing prices have not quite caught up. The alliance’s website, www.baldwineda.com, listed these major expansions and investments for 2016:
• UTC Aerospace Systems announced an 80,000-square-foot expansion in Foley, creating 260 new jobs. • Morganton Pressure Vessels established a new manufacturing operation in Bay Minette with 70 new jobs. • The Daphne Science and Innovation Complex, a white-collar office park, received a federal grant of $845,583 that is expected to generate another $5 million in private investment and create more than 100 jobs. • Auburn University announced it will build a 24,000-square-foot educational complex in Gulf Shores. • Thomas Hospital in Fairhope broke ground on the county’s first freestanding emergency department. • The Poarch Band of Creek Indians began construction on its OWA amusement park and entertainment complex
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and encouraging “unwarranted” investigations into the authority’s activities. Bailey also handled the authority’s inquiry to the Ethics Commission about the hangar lease. McEnerney called Bailey “the premier ethics attorney in Alabama.” Ironically, Bailey is also the attorney for the Alabama Press Association. He regularly advises people who work for the mainstream news organizations that are members of the APA and is considered an expert in Alabama media law. “I think it’s unfortunate that we’re forced to do this,” Burrell said. McEnerney said he saw no other choice. After that vote, the authority decided to go into a closed executive session to discuss pending litigation. The authority’s attorney, Joshua Myrick, justified the closed meeting this way: “On Jan. 31, the Airport Authority received a threat of pending litigation by Paul Ripp. He makes a number of allegations in the email and concludes the email by saying, ‘Please consider this as a notice of pending litigation. Be advised that this requires the Airport Authority to ethically and morally extend legal fiduciary notice to any lending institution considering financing the loan in question as they certainly would become part of that litigation.’ “In light of that threat I believe that the Airport Authority does have the ability to go into executive session to discuss this notice of pending litigation.” On the way out of the meeting room, McEnerney, Wilson and City Attorney Marion “Tut” Wynne argued about who had said what during a conference call the previous evening. At that point, Wilson said she would replace the three board members whose terms are expiring and have McEnerney removed for cause. When it was pointed out that the City Council would have to approve new board members and could reject Wilson’s choices, she said she would keep nominating new board members until her choices were approved.
Wilson and Wynne went into the closed meeting. Twelve minutes later they were back, with Wynne saying they had been “politely invited” to leave. Their ejection led to research of Robert’s Rules of Order via mobile devices and eventually yet another debate among Wynne, his associate Marcus McDowell and Myrick over whether it was legal to have ejected the mayor. To sum up, the bond issue hasn’t been completed. Ripp maintains the Airport Authority has engaged in wrongdoing. Both McEnerney and Burrell — who was one of two board members reviewing the hangar bids — deny Ripps’ allegations. An attorney who usually defends freedom of the press has been hired — with taxpayer dollars — to investigate and possibly sue a blogger. Mosher’s YouTube video (search “Fairhope Airport Authority”) went up over the weekend after he said he was denied the opportunity to make a PowerPoint presentation on Airport Authority actions to the City Council. Council members did not respond to his comments Monday but the video had been viewed more than 700 times. “I think what this is showing is that our dysfunctionality is having consequences,” McEnerney told Lagniappe. As for Wilson saying she would remove him from the board, he declined to comment. He was appointed to a six-year term last year. Is Fairhope dysfunctional? “Not yet,” said Burrell. “While all this has been going on, there’s no doubt that interest rates have gone up. Had this been closed a couple of months ago, it would have saved us money. And I’ll say that without passing blame on anybody.” outside Foley. “We saw good diversity in manufacturing, white collar, health care and aerospace last year. We had the No. 1 aerospace announcement in the state last year,” Lawson said. Still, the search for a tenant for the mega site goes on. The County Commission purchased some 3,000 acres in 2012 at a cost of $32 million. The site fronts Interstate 65 outside Bay Minette and is considered shovel-ready for a large-scale manufacturing plant. “We had eight opportunities at the mega site last year,” Lawson said. “The average capital investment for those opportunities was $350 million.” Lawson defined “opportunity” as occurring when a reputable company or site selector formally requests that the BCEDA propose the site for an economic development project. The interested party wants to know how the mega site could fit its needs. There were several visitors to the site in 2016, most of them foreign investors, he said. Some of them made multiple visits. But Lawson said he is bound by signed confidentiality agreements and other restrictions that prevent him from disclosing whether any of the parties are still interested or offering any timetable for when or if an announcement might be made. He did, however, praise the commission for its leadership in backing the mega site. “We wouldn’t be under consideration in the conversations that we’re in right now without the critical investments and the critical decisions you guys made as a commission,” Lawson said.
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BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
Here we go again WASTE MANAGEMENT FILES FRESH COMPLAINTS AGAINST TRASH AUTHORITY BY DALE LIESCH
n new complaints, attorneys for Waste Management Environmental Center (WM) are asking the United States District Court in Mobile for an injunction against the city’s Solid Waste Authority, seeking to hold the authority in contempt for failing to honor a federal district court ruling and continued breach of a 1993 contract. In one of two filings dated Friday, Feb. 10, Jaime Betbeze, an attorney for WM, asked the court to step in two months after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that found roughly half of the city’s waste stream was being diverted away from the WM-managed Chastang Landfill, in breach of the contract between WM and the authority. Betbeze asked the court to further force the authority to deliver the city’s yard debris to Chastang Landfill, in accordance with the contract. “WM Mobile Bay further prays that the court hold the city of Mobile Solid Waste Authority in contempt of court and award the costs of this motion as a sanction against the authority” the motion reads. Pete Riehm, Solid Waste Authority Board chairman, said the board voted in July to send the city’s yard debris to Chastang Landfill. He added that he doesn’t know why it hasn’t happened. Paul Wesch, the city’s acting chief of staff, said that while the city is not directly involved in the ongoing lawsuit, he could confirm that discussions about moving yard debris from Dirt Inc. to Chastang Landfill were ongoing. He added the council approved an extension of the Dirt Inc. contract last summer while the appeal was ongoing. In January of last year, a federal jury awarded WM roughly $6 million following a breach-of-contract trial. The authority appealed the decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which, after a hearing in Mont-
gomery in December, upheld the lower court’s decision. In the second complaint, Betbeze asks for a permanent injunction to force the authority to reimburse WM more than $162,000 for capital expenses for the landfill’s gas management system, Mobile Area Water and Sewer System surcharges for leachate pre-treatment and leachate analytical costs. In the complaint, Betbeze calls these costs “capital expenses,” which he argues are reimbursable, according to the contract and the court’s 2015 ruling. A denial last month by the authority to reimburse WM, Betbeze wrote, constitutes new breaches of the contract. “WM Mobile Bay has suffered irreparable injury by the authority’s continued refusal to reimburse it for capital expenses and operational costs … despite this court’s ruling that such costs are directly reimbursable under the parties’ contract,” the motion reads. “WM Mobile Bay does not have an adequate remedy at law because the authority’s repeated breaches of contract and demonstrated contempt for the court’s rulings would require WM Mobile Bay to continually file lawsuits to recover damages for each one of the authority’s breaches of the same contractual provision.” Riehm argues what Betbeze describes in the complaint isn’t a capital expense and that’s why the board voted against the reimbursement. “Our position is it’s not a reimbursable item,” he said. The authority has no real assets with which to pay the $6 million judgment against it, Riehm said, other than the landfill itself. At one point, WM did pay the authority royalties for use of the landfill, but those royalties haven’t been paid since the legal issue began, Riehm said. It remains unclear how the authority will satisfy the judgment. Riehm said many options have been discussed, but nothing has been finalized.
Under new management GULFQUEST’S NEW EXHIBITS EXPLORE SHIPWRECKS, PIRATE LORE BY DALE LIESCH
undreds of artifacts will await visitors to GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico when it reopens Saturday, Feb. 18 with a new exhibit called “Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure.” In addition to several interactive elements, like a LED map of shipwrecks around the world and hurricane tubes that simulate winds of 75 miles per hour, the exhibit features 500 authentic artifacts from various shipwrecks, notably, the SS Republic paddlewheel. The exhibit allows guest to zoom into the the wreck of the SS Republic at 1,700 feet deep using a large-scale photo mosaic to view precisely where artifacts were discovered. Pieces include iron spigots, ceramic tableware, bottles and coins.
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Also on display at the exhibit is some of the technology used to find shipwrecks on the ocean floor, include Odyssey’s remotely operated vehicle, side-scan sonar and acoustic transponders. The exhibit includes full-scale replicas of the equipment and innovative technology the Odyssey uses to discover shipwrecks, including a robotic manipulator arm that guests can use to try to pick up a coin. The exhibit also features information on pirate lore, including stories on Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Barbary corsairs, privateers and buccaneers. After closing in November due to low attendance and an increasing debt, the museum will host a grand opening Feb. 18 before remaining open Wednesday through Saturday starting Feb. 22.
BAYBRIEF | POLITICS
Life, death and the Legislature ALABAMA LAWMAKERS MEET AND MULL STATE’S BIGGEST PROBLEMS
BY LEE HEDGEPETH
labama lawmakers began their annual legislative session Feb. 7, and they’re wasting no time pushing bills through both the House and the Senate. While no bill has had time to pass the full Legislature just yet, just over a half dozen bills of the hundreds filed have made their way out of committee and are one step closer to being sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. Following are descriptions of these pieces of legislation. Senate Bill 60, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Allen, would prevent the removal of historical memorials that are at least 50 years old. This legislation is a reaction to calls for the removal of Confederacy-related memorials across the state. Senate Bill 16, sponsored by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, would end the practice of judicial override, taking from judges the authority to throw out the recommendation of a jury for a life or for a death sentence in a capital case. House Bill 100, sponsored by Rep. Phil Williams, would prevent state funding of institutions found to be in violation of immigration law. The bill is likely a reaction to universities across the state expressing concern over President Trump’s Executive Order regarding immigration. House Bill 24, sponsored by Rep. Rich Wingo, would prevent the state from punishing adoption placement agencies that refuse to place children in settings that violate the agency’s beliefs. The bill is likely aimed at organizations concerned with being punished for refusing to place children in homes with same-sex couples. House Bill 95, sponsored by Rep. Arnold Mooney, would allow any medical facility/ personnel to refuse any service that violates their conscience. Similar legislation is already on the books.
House Bill 96, sponsored by Rep. Mack Butler, would unconditionally ban assisted suicide in the state. House Bill 98, sponsored by Rep. Matt Fridy, would aim to bring to voters a constitutional amendment that would enshrine Alabama’s “commitment to the unborn” in the state’s governing document. Other legislation likely to gain serious consideration includes that laid out by Gov. Robert Bentley in his State of the State address. Bentley said he’s committed to getting an $800 million bond issue to build new prisons in the state, to better funding Alabama’s award-winning pre-K system, to giving a 4 percent raise to state employees and (surprising to some) to repealing the state’s grocery tax. In addition, the Legislature will also have to address a recent court decision invalidating several House and Senate districts because they unconstitutionally diluted minority voting power. Lawmakers will have to go back to the drawing board and redraw those districts and likely those around them. However, the biggest challenge for lawmakers in Montgomery, as always, is passing the state’s multi-billion-dollar budget. Lagniappe talked to Sen. Tripp Pittman, who heads up the general fund budget, about the state’s fiscal woes just before the session started. When asked if he was ready for the legislative session, Pittman replied, “I’m as ready as you can be. We have to balance our budgets in Montgomery. We have a tough budget year, but we’ll get up there, and we’ll pass a budget.” The Legislature can meet for only 30 days over about four months. The last possible day of the legislative session is May 22.
Changing of the guard BENTLEY APPOINTS LUTHER STRANGE TO U.S. SENATE
BY LEE HEDGEPETH
ov. Robert Bentley announced his appointment of state Attorney General Luther Strange as Alabama’s next United States senator last Thursday. Strange, a Republican, replaces Jeff Sessions, who was recently confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. Strange had already announced his intention to run for the seat in a special election, even if he had not been chosen to serve by the governor in the interim. “I am greatly honored and humbled to accept the appointment to Alabama’s Senate seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Sessions,” Strange said. “Sen. Sessions’ commitment to public service is nearly unparalleled in Alabama history and his departure from the Senate leaves tremendous shoes to fill. I pledge to the people of Alabama to continue the same level of leadership as Jeff Sessions in consistently fighting to protect and advance the conservative values we all care about.” Strange was only one of about 20 candidates considered by the governor as a potential replacement for Sessions, but he had long been seen as the frontrunner. The appointment of Strange to replace Sessions brings up questions of a potential conflict of interest on the part of Gov. Bentley, as impeachment proceedings against Bentley were halted when then-Attorney General Strange asked that they be delayed because of his office’s “active investigations” about “related work.” “I respectfully request that the committee
cease active interviews and investigation until I am able to report to you that the necessary related work of my office has been completed,” Strange wrote to the chair of the impeachment committee, who complied. When asked at a recent GOP event in Mobile whether those investigations posed a conflict of interest for Bentley, Strange sidestepped the question. “The Legislature has their job to do; we have our job to do. Beyond that, I don’t really want to comment on anything that might be pending out there. The Legislature has to make their own decisions,” Strange told members of the media, including Lagniappe. “I think I’ve made this clear before — with some of the articles that are written — we’ve never said that we’re investigating the governor. We asked the Legislature to hold off because they were involved in a very public matter. We felt there were some common issues we needed to address. Beyond that I haven’t commented, and I don’t plan to comment.” Meanwhile, on Friday, Bentley appointed Marshall County prosecutor Steve Marshall as attorney general. Marshall told other media he would recuse himself from any investigation of Bentley. Strange won’t have long to serve before he’ll have to run for the office again. A special election for the Senate seat will be held in 2018, and Strange is likely to face at least Republican primary opposition. Fe b r u a r y 1 6 , 2 0 1 7 - Fe b r u a r y 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 9
BAYBRIEF | MOBILE COUNTY
Hastie tagged by Ethics Commision COMMISSION: SHE ‘VIOLATED ETHICS LAW’ BY JASON JOHNSON
n ethics query has found Mobile County Revenue Commissioner Kim Hastie violated state ethics law while serving in her former capacity as license commissioner by distributing the private email addresses of local motorists to Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s 2013 political campaign. At its Feb. 1 meeting, the Alabama Ethics Commission reviewed the findings of an investigation into an ethics complaint against Hastie in an executive session closed to the public. Afterward, commissioners unanimously concluded Hastie had run afoul of Alabama’s ethics laws for public officials while she was still serving in her previous role as license commissioner. “Based on evidence presented to this commission, there exists cause to hold that Kim Hastie, Mobile County license commissioner, has violated Alabama Ethics law,” Ethics Commissioner Charles Price said. “I further move the case be referred from here for appropriate action to the office of the attorney general of the state of Alabama.” Though the commission did not publicly discuss the nature of Hastie’s violation, Lagniappe has confirmed through multiple sources familiar with the investigation that it was at least partially centered on the events that led to her criminal conviction in 2015. Though a jury acquitted Hastie of more than a dozen other charges, she was unanimously convicted of a simple violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) for turning over roughly 30,000 email addresses from a license commission database to a political consultant working for Stimpson’s campaign. The ethics ruling has come down just as attorneys handling Hastie’s appeal of the DPPA conviction are preparing for oral arguments before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 24, though exactly what her defense will be is still unclear.
During the 2015 trial, the defense offered no testimony to counter Hastie’s involvement in the disclosure of those email addresses. Instead, her attorneys argued that email addresses wouldn’t be considered “personal information” under the DPPA and claimed prosecutors failed to prove Hastie would have been subject to its requirements at the time the emails were passed to the Stimpson campaign. This week, attorney Neil Hanley confirmed his role in defending Hastie at the upcoming hearing and in the recent ethics hearing, though he declined to comment on either. As of press deadline, calls to Hastie and an attorney for the ethics commission had not been returned. Though Price recommended referring Hastie’s case to the Alabama Attorney General’s office, there’s little chance state prosecutors would pursue any type of prosecution given Hastie’s federal conviction for violating the DPPA. In lieu of prosecution, the ethics commission is able to assess administrative penalties and fines on public officials who violate ethics laws. While there have been claims that Hastie was fined, Lagniappe has been unable to independently verify them. Regardless of the outcome, though, the same circumstances surrounding those leaked email addresses have already prompted one civil lawsuit against Hastie. Filed by two Mobile residents, the suit claims local motorists’ privacy was violated when their email addresses were disseminated for a political purpose. However, that action is on hold pending the outcome of Hastie’s appeal in the related criminal charge. Mobile County Attorney Jay Ross said he plans to attend the hearing in that case next week because the pending civil lawsuit could still have ramifications for the Mobile County Commission due to Hastie being sued in her official capacity. “At this point, it’s still unclear to what extent the county commission might have liability if the license commission
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were held to have some type of liability,” Ross added. “We’re required to finance the operations of the license commission, but all that is still yet to be determined.” The outlying appeal, the civil suit against Hastie and the recent ethics investigation have only been compounded by the threat of yet another lawsuit submitted last month by a former contractor instrumental in the charges brought against Hastie in 2014. Victor Crawford, a 26-year employee of Mobile County, saw his computer contract with the license commission terminated less than six months after testifying against Hastie. It has also revealed that it was Crawford who initially made contact with the federal agents that would ultimately indict his former boss. In 2015, Hastie’s defense claimed Crawford had been a friend of the former license commissioner for years, and though Crawford downplayed that relationship on the stand, they’ve both admitted to being close friends and apprentices of former County Engineer Joe Ruffer. In the notice of claim Crawford filed with the county last month, he repeated allegations Hastie has already been acquitted of, including that she’d “extorted” him into hiding payments to a political consultant within his monthly invoices and forced him to pay her qualifying fee in the 2014 GOP primary. Crawford claims it was Ruffer who asked him to do the latter, allegedly saying, “You better do as [Hastie] wants or she’s gonna fire your motherf**king ass.” Though Crawford’s claims haven’t been substantiated, a review of ethics opinions from the time suggests Ruffer had been particularly interested in helping Hastie and her family. Shortly after Hastie’s indictment, Ross requested an ethics opinion as to whether Ruffer could gift $5,000 to Hastie’s daughter to help cover the cost of “her undergraduate degree at Auburn University” — an exception the commission deemed appropriate due to the pair’s “longstanding personal relationship.” That degree became relevant in a separate criminal trial Hastie and her husband, John Melvin Hastie Jr., faced over a handful of tax evasion charges in 2015. In that case, Hastie Jr.’s second cousin, Neil McMillan, testified to passing a $5,323 stumpage fee for timber cut on his property to the Hasties’ daughter in a deal supervised by the company Hastie Jr. worked for at the time. However, the prosecution contested that money was never used for college tuition nor was itt reported on the couple’s income taxes. McMillan later testified that he’d never knowingly paid for tuition nor “provided any other funds” to the children directly. McMillan went on corroborate an interview transcript that recorded him saying he’d “thought the family could use the extra money because of their recent indictments.” He also didn’t dispute the $5,323 payment “just happened to occur right as they were indicted.” A trial on the tax allegations against the Hasties ended in mistrial due to a hung jury in May 2015. U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown ultimately opted not to seek a retrial.
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COMMENTARY | DAMN THE TORPEDOES
ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
investigation. Now, if that misunderstanding keeps them from getting back onto this whole unfortunate impeachment issue, I say what does it matter? Catch my drift?” … “Boy, this guy really knows how to kiss ass,” Bentley thinks. “Bekah was right! He’ll do anything to be appointed senator, even if it does make him look like a total sleazeball. Wonder if I can get him to tap dance or sing ‘I’m a Little Teapot?’ I bet he would.” Bentley smiles and says, “Big Luther, if these office walls could talk, they’d tell you I’ve had some exciting times in here before — especially right in the chair you’re sitting in — but this is the first time I may actually have to call my doctor in four hours! Hahahaha! Get it?” … A silent shudder travels down most of Big Luther’s body before running out of steam mid-thigh. “May have to burn this suit,” he thinks as the Luv Guv cackles. “But overall this is going way better than I thought. Gosh, I really, really, really want this — even more than when they picked me to play the beanstalk in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ in third grade. Sure this clown deserves to go to jail, but let someone else worry about that. Hello, D.C.! Can’t wait for Richard Shelby to teach me how to become crazy rich on a public servant’s salary? Don’t jinx it, Big Luther!” Both men stand, Bentley reaches up to shake Big Luther’s hand. “I hope I’ve made a good impression, Governor,” Luther says. “Oh you have, Senator Strange … oops, I mean Attorney General Strange,” Bentley says smiling.
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LinkedIn page later if I need any of that,” Bentley says. He leans forward, almost whispering. “I’m not making you senator because I like you. Get that straight. Now let’s talk turkey.” … Big Luther sits across from the governor. Bentley’s saying something about talking turkeys, but the words haven’t completely registered yet. That’s stupid, turkeys can’t talk. Luther starts wondering how many places in the office they “did it.” Was he sitting in a chair that had been defiled? That spot on the desk looks very suspicious. He can’t help picturing Bentley naked. “Do I have hand sanitizer in the car?” he thinks. The old man is trying to talk about the “investigation” without mentioning the word. Luther chuckles to himself. “What investigation? Aren’t you paying attention, Gov. Horn Dog? The second I knew this job was a possibility I started changing that narrative,” Luther thinks. “You don’t believe I’d really want to take the heat from having this meeting while everyone knows my office is investigating you? Hellooooo! Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton already showed where that’ll get you.” “Governor, let me assure you that whatever you may have thought was going on in regards to any so-called ‘investigation’ by my office into your actions while trying to find true happiness in life is simply a misunderstanding,” Big Luther says to Bentley, making air quotes with his fingers. “As I’ve said, I think the members of the Legislature simply misunderstood when I asked them to stop any impeachment activities against you while my boys completed their own investigation. That didn’t mean there WAS or IS an
t’s a balmy winter in Montgomery. Gov. Robert Bentley sits at his large, shiny mahogany desk. Lost in thought, he stares at an empty spot on the desk, thinks of her and sighs. A smile spreads across his face as he sees a coffee mug she gave him when she snuck over late at night to see him before Christmas a couple of weeks earlier. “Luv Guv” is printed on the side of it. “Dang right I’m the Luv Guv!” he whispers. The memory gives him the strength to do what he must for her ... for his Bekah. The old-fashioned 1960’s style intercom on his desk makes a slight popping sound. It came with him to the governor’s office after decades of faithful service in his doctor’s office. Bekah always joked about it looking like something out of “Leave it to Beaver.” He giggles at the name of the show, trying to distract himself from what was coming next. “Governor, Luther Strange is here to see you,” a voice crackles from the box. Though he had been able to hold it together after years of examining the hairiest of moles on the worst bodies Alabama could produce, the name of his political nemesis nearly causes Bentley to hurl the GrapeNuts he had for breakfast. “Send him in, Wanda,” he weakly replies. ... On the other side of the door, Luther Strange smooths the front of one 64-inch pant leg and straightens his 75inch tie. He grabs the crystal doorknob, making it look like a diamond earring in his massive hand. He starts to turn the knob, but hesitates for a moment as thoughts travel from one side of his humongous brain to the other. It takes time. “I can’t believe I have to go and beg this horny old geezer for this job … for the job everybody knows should be mine,” he whines to himself, then calms a bit. “You can do this, you’re Big Luther! This pimple popper is all that stands between you and being the tallest U.S. Senator in history!” For a fleeting second he remembers the nightmare he’s been having all week where he’s in law school and his professor is asking questions about a hypothetical situation in which a state’s attorney general wants to ask a governor his agency is investigating for a sweetheart appointment to a U.S. Senate seat. “Big Luther, there are several ethical dilemmas presented here. Name them and explain why it’s totally unacceptable for an attorney general to act this way!” the professor demands. But in his dream Big Luther doesn’t know why it’s wrong. He’d been doodling pictures on a legal pad of himself as President Strange and not paying attention when all of that pesky ethics stuff was covered. Suddenly he’s sitting in his gigantic boxer shorts in ethics class and doesn’t know any of the answers. He tries to make up some solid BS, but all that will come out of his mouth are the words “Senator Strange.” He pushes the dream out of his mind, turns the knob, ducks his head and enters the room. “Governor,” he says, “I’m here about the job.” ... “God, he’s so smug,” Bentley thinks as Luther walks over and sits in a chair in front of the desk. He exchanges pleasantries with the AG and thinks how nice it would be if Bekah was here and they could take a nap inside Big Luther’s giant suit coat. He realizes that’s kind of a ridiculous thought and tries to focus while Big Luther starts listing all of his lifetime accomplishments. “Surely he’s got to realize what this is,” Bentley thinks, “Doesn’t this man recognize slimy, self-serving politics when he sees them? Is this his first day in Alabama?” “That’s all well and good, Luther, but I’ll check your
CUSTOMIZED VALENTINES SWEETHEARTS FROM GOV. ROBERT BENTLEY TO SEN. LUTHER STRANGE.
COMMENTARY | THE HIDDEN AGENDA
Looking at life on the other side of the hill ASHLEY TRICE/EDITOR/ASHLEYTOLAND@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
his week I will become a quadragenarian. That’s right. The big 4-0! Over the hill. Set the cake on fire. The vultures are starting to circle. Halfway to the casket (if I’m lucky). You get the drift. Just plain old. How did this happen? I swear I was just watching Smurfs, playing with my Cabbage Patch Kids and dreaming of my favorite New Kid on the Block like two seconds ago! (It was Donnie!) I have tried not to become too despondent about this number, but when you read how turning 40 is described by some it is a little disheartening to say the least.
I turned 30 on Joe Cain Day 10 years ago. My friends threw a wonderful party for me downtown and it was a great time, but it was also one of saddest periods of my life. My mother was terminally ill. Though I was happy in my career, all of the other pieces I wanted were still missing. I hadn’t met my husband yet (that would come almost a year later). I was scared I would never have any children (I would have two within the next five years). And I knew my mother would not live long enough to see me experience either of those joys if they were to come my way (and sadly she didn’t). It was a very dark and lonely time. I guess I have just come to realize age and the presence or absence of skin elasticity really doesn’t affect your level of hapI GUESS I HAVE JUST COME TO REALpiness. And even if things IZE AGE AND THE PRESENCE OR ABaren’t going your way, it can SENCE OF SKIN ELASTICITY REALLY DOESN’T all change on a dime no matter how many candles are on AFFECT YOUR LEVEL OF HAPPINESS. AND EVEN your cake. IF THINGS AREN’T GOING YOUR WAY, IT CAN Sure, I would love not ALL CHANGE ON A DIME NO MATTER HOW to be experiencing the early MANY CANDLES ARE ON YOUR CAKE. stages of turkey neck, but as I have been reflecting during this supposed midpoint of my For instance, Urban Dictionary defines “over life, I have never been happier. the hill” as “reaching the average midpoint in While you may start to fall apart physically, life, which is age 40. Therefore, 40th birththere are some mental advantages to entering days are generally thought of as making it the second half of your life. (Well, at least at the ‘over the hill.’ You’ve gone up the hill for 40 beginning of the second half.) years (healthy, youthful appearance, etc.), now I used to worry myself to death over every 40 more years down the hill (decreasing health, little thing. I would wake up in the middle loss of physical beauty, etc.).” of the night to stress over something I had Ouch. That’s just rude. Especially that last said to someone (“Gosh, I hope they know I part. didn’t mean it like that.”) or play out all the As I have been enjoying the last few days of worst-case scenarios that might happen about my 30s, though, I have already noticed some, a certain situation but usually never did. I still um, “changes.” battle with this at times, but I have gotten much For instance, when I was younger I was better about it. always so curious why “middle-aged women” You just start to realize life is way too short were seemingly obsessed with hand lotion. to fret over every little thing and you get way Alas, I get it now. I guess I need to just go more comfortable in your own skin. You start ahead and stash tubes of it all around the house, to value the friends who you know truly have office and car. your back no matter what and phase out the Not to mention the neck skin. I’ve never felt ones who don’t. You start to hyper-focus on the so at one with a turkey. Gobble gobble. people and things that really matter. And all of Knowing my midlife crisis birthday was this is so very liberating. approaching, I started working out harder than And while 40 has made me stop to count I have in years at the beginning of this year. my many blessings, it has also given me a new And I hate the gym! My poor old lady body sense of urgency to accomplish some goals I sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies every time have yet or only half-heartedly attempted to I spastically try to do a jumping jack. Snap! achieve. Thinking things like “I better get to Crackle! Pop! (Trust me. It’s a sad sight to see work on X, Y or Z because I could die anytime AND hear!) now” is strangely energizing. While time is moving right along, my meI certainly hope I have as many days left on tabolism has slowed to a glacial pace. Without this planet as I have already spent. Hopefully question, my 20-something-year-old self would more. And if these wrinkles that were earned have dropped two sizes by now doing what I honestly have taught me anything, it is that life am doing. But my new (almost) 40-year-old is definitely going to deal you some great hands self apparently just likes the body it has. Sigh. and some terrible ones too. But as long as you But somehow none of this really depresses have great folks sitting at the table with you — me all that much. to share the joys and be by your side during the Over the last couple of weeks, my friends disappointments and the sorrows — ultimately have been reminding me “40 is the new 30.” everything will be OK. But my response to that has been, “God, I And I also hear incontinence undergarments hope not.” have come a long way. So there’s that too.
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COMMENTARY | THE BELTWAY BEAT
Trump presidency day 27: We still have ‘Obamacare’ BY JEFF POOR/COLUMNIST/JEFFREYPOOR@GMAIL.COM
labamians on the federal Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” are getting rocked by premium increases this year. Numerous reports last year told Obamacare recipients in Alabama to expect their insurance premiums from Blue Cross Blue Shield to increase 36 percent on average. That sharp upturn in cost follows a 28 percent hike from 2015 headed into 2016. Throughout the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump promised to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. We’re roughly 27 days into Trump’s presidency, and the odds of that happening in the near term are decreasing day by day. It is not entirely Trump’s fault. Republican lawmakers have become skittish about completely scrapping Obamacare. The fear, of course, is that repeal will cause some people to lose their coverage, opening the door to the usual Democratic fear-mongering we have seen during past Republican administrations. But a fear of demagoguery does not change the fact that Obamacare is an unpopular law fraught with problems. Something will need to be done about the massive health care law sooner rather than later. Frankly, the idea that you could maintain the pre-2010 business model for health insurance companies and cover everybody at the same was destined for failure. For starters, the dirty little secret is that Obamacare is a humongous wealth redistribution program that greatly benefits insurance providers. For it to work, the law requires healthy people to pay for a health insurance product they do not necessarily need and might not even use (hence the individual health insurance mandate). The health insurance companies can take proceeds from an overpriced product and put them toward subsidizing the cost of health care for the unhealthy. And naturally, what could be better than a law requiring people to buy your product!? What seems immoral about the scheme is that the healthy tend to be the younger, less wealthy generations and the unhealthy tend to be older, wealthier generations. There are other questionable aspects of these programs, including requiring, by law, a man to buy a personal plan that includes coverage for breastfeeding, prenatal care and birth control, or a woman to buy a plan that covers prostate health or erectile dysfunction medication. According to a survey from pro-Obamacare research foundation The Commonwealth Fund, the Affordable Care Act has put a dent in the number of uninsured. From 2010 to 2014, the adult uninsured rate fell from 20 percent to 15 percent, or 9.5 million fewer uninsured. But this has come at a very a high cost and represents a very small portion of America’s 318 million population. In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost of Obamacare to be $1.76 trillion over 10 years. That is triple the CBO’s estimate in 2010, when Obama signed the bill into law. And the price tag just continues to escalate.
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So what now? Republicans have had six years to come up with a game plan on this. When they won the House in 2010, they made a lot of symbolic efforts to repeal the ACA. When they won the Senate in 2014, Republicans told voters they needed the White House for total repeal. Now that they have it, some Republicans are signaling that they want to delay action on Obamacare. There are a few things they could do in the short term. What happened to eliminating the stateline boundaries for health insurance? Allowing these state-by-state monopolies — like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, which covers 90 percent of the state’s population — results in limited competition and therefore no incentive to lower costs. If you want evidence of crony capitalism in our health care system, allowing for this system to continue to exist is it. The statewide monopolies are something the ACA should have eliminated. What about all the really sick people, those with pre-existing conditions and in need of medical care? Without making health insurance mandatory for all, health insurance companies would be unable to offer a product to those with pre-existing conditions. What about them? One idea is to create a high-risk pool for those individuals. Sure, the cost would be exorbitant, but ideally that is where you would want extra funding reserves. Tax dollars would be better used put toward those with high-risk medical conditions than to subsidies for the young and healthy. Let those who are young and healthy pay for a plan based on their needs, which may or may not include coverage for breastfeeding, prenatal care, birth control, prostate health or erectile dysfunction medication. There is no question about it: Trump inherited a bad hand on Obamacare. The hand became even tougher to play with all the promises he made on the campaign trail. But one thing Trump has going in his favor is Obamacare is very unpopular. The media are not going to make repeal — or, actually, any part of his agenda — easy on him or congressional Republicans. News outlets will scour the countryside for any sob story resulting from whatever changes are made to Obamacare. If some plan is implemented and the bulk of Americans feel a noticeable change for the better in their health care costs, it will not matter what Democrats or the media do. Chances are those who are benefiting from Obamacare likely did not vote Republican in the 2016 election anyway. On the other hand, not doing anything to appease a minority would be politically disastrous. Repealing and replacing Obamacare was one of the key parts of Trump’s campaign. The people who did vote for Trump won’t come out to vote again if this promise isn’t fulfilled in the near term, and the whole “Make America Great Again” populist movement might be for naught.
COMMENTARY | THE MONTGOMERY MINUTE
What the forthwith and other Strange questions BY LEE HEDGEPETH/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
ov. Robert Bentley’s appointment of former state Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate is raising many questions, including not only whether the choice of Strange is ethical, but also whether the special election timeline laid out by the governor is even legal. The latter, more imminent question is when Alabama law says Bentley must hold an election. The answer? Well, it’s not entirely clear. The relevant statute has odd wording that leads to another even stickier question: what the forthwith? “Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of senator of and from the state of Alabama in the Senate of the United States more than four months before a general election,” the law says, “the governor of Alabama shall forthwith order an election to be held by the qualified electors of the state to elect a senator of and from the state of Alabama to the U.S. Senate for the unexpired term.” So if the vacancy occurs more than four months out from the regular ol’ election, the governor can make a temporary appointment, sure, but he “shall forthwith order an election.” After Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as U.S. Attorney General earlier this month, this is undoubtedly the situation we’re in, but the questions keep coming: How long is forthwith? And is the law saying the election must not only be ordered immediately, but also held “forthwith?” Again, it’s unclear. One Alabama House Representative, Democrat Chris England, says the statue is pretty clear to him and that the governor is on the wrong side of it. Once the governor’s office announced the timeline for the special election, which they say will be held along with the regular elections in 2018, England, a lawyer, lashed out on social media, calling the timeline “illegal.”
“So [the governor’s announcement] means we will have a primary in June and the general in November,” Rep. England wrote in a Facebook post. “Sounds legit? Well it’s not. It is still ILLEGAL … How can the governor’s office use that date when the vacancy occurred outside the time requirements set by law? I will answer that question for you. They can’t. “So again,” England continued in the post, “we must demand that the governor follow the law and hold a special election. There isn’t a ‘we don’t have the money’ exception to the law. There isn’t a ‘this sure would be easier’ exception to the law. There isn’t a ‘this would protect the appointee’ exception to the law. The law is what it is, it is clear, and it should be followed. Again we should demand that the governor follow the law and hold a special election FORTHWITH.” England apparently wrote the governor’s office about his concerns and received a more than 800-word legalistic reply, which he also posted on social media. Bentley’s excuse for the delay in the election? There are many, but England wasn’t far off. Two of the reasons cited in the response by the governor’s office were, indeed, “we don’t have the money” and “this sure would be easier.” “There are several factors in considering what is a reasonable time [in which to call a special election],” the governor’s response to England said. “Those factors include compliance with federal statutes and cases, saving unnecessary expense and setting a time that will increase voter participation and turnout.” Why, though, was the governor’s office discussing not how long “forthwith” is, but how long “a reasonable time” is? Black’s Law Dictionary defines “forthwith” as “a reason-
able time,” they said. And they’re right, it does, but they left out the other part of the definition, which is “as soon as a thing may be done” and gives as an example a plea being given within a 24-hour period. We may not be able to hold an election in 24 hours, but if we’re holding it “as soon as [it] may be done,” November 2018 is clearly not the “forthwith” I -— or Black — had in mind. Alongside their response, Rep. England posted his reaction to the governor’s office’s rationale: “Seriously, after reading this I am even more convinced that what they are trying to do is illegal,” he wrote. The other major question raised by Bentley’s appointment of Strange is one of ethics. Should the former Attorney General who halted the governor’s impeachment because of “related investigations” be able to then go in and interview with the potential suspect of those investigations for a new job? I don’t think so, and ethical guidelines published by the American Bar Association and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) seem pretty clear cut on the issue, too. According to the ABA’s Standards on Prosecutorial Conduct, a prosecutor should never do what Strange — as chief prosecutor of the state of Alabama — has done: interview for a job with a subject of an investigation. “A prosecutor should not, except as law may otherwise expressly permit, negotiate for private employment with any person who is involved as an accused or as an attorney or agent for an accused in a matter in which the prosecutor is participating personally and substantially,” one provision of the standards says. Yes, you could argue that seeking the office of senator from Bentley would be public employment, not private, so let’s keep skimming through those ethical standards. Another section of the ABA’s code of ethics for prosecutors takes it a step further: “A prosecutor should not permit his or her professional judgment or obligations to be affected by his or her own political, financial, business, property or personal interests.” Then there’s the ABA’s section on cooperating with other investigating agencies, which seems to leave out the part where prosecutors should halt all “related investigations” to those at hand, instead explicitly saying that prosecutors like Strange should “work cooperatively with to develop investigative policies.” Strange’s investigative policy? Stop investigating Bentley. The real gem, though, is in the NDAA’s ethical standards for prosecutors: “A prosecutor should not hold an interest or engage in activities, financial or otherwise, that conflict, have a significant potential to conflict, or are likely to create a reasonable appearance of conflict with the duties and responsibilities of the prosecutor’s office.” Under this standard, it doesn’t matter whether the Bentley-Strange affair is corrupt; it matters whether it appears to be. And trust me, this one smells. There’s something rotten in Montgomery, and it’s got me asking what the forthwith and other strange Strange questions.
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BUSINESS | THE REAL DEAL
Commercial real estate moves
Hargrove to renovate WALA building BY RON SIVAK/COLUMNIST/BUSINESS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
argrove Controls + Automation has announced the beginnings of a major renovation project centered on the former WALA building, located at 208 Government St. in downtown Mobile. The city of Mobile and Mayor Sandy Stimpson will hold an unveiling of the architectural rendering Thursday, Feb. 16, at 8:30 a.m. — in conjunction with Hargrove, Cummings Architecture and the Downtown Mobile Alliance — at Government Plaza, across the street from the WALA building. “As one of the first buildings seen upon exiting the Bankhead Tunnel, this project will improve the overall aesthetic of Government Street and will breathe new life into the entire corridor,” Stimpson said. “This effort is a crucial catalyst for investment in downtown Mobile that will spur economic activity and improve our quality of life. I am thankful for the leadership of Hargrove Controls + Automation as they continue to work alongside us to make downtown Mobile a hub for innovation and technology jobs.” The WALA building renovation will significantly expand Hargrove’s campus in the area. After receiving a new façade in 1970, when it became the home of WALA, the 23,500-square-foot building has been abandoned for the last 15 years. The new office will utilize 19,000 square feet of space, leaving the remaining 4,500 square feet for potential lease. Hargrove Controls + Automation will also add a gallery, or balcony, facing Government Street, reminiscent of old Mobile and similar to the structure of adjacent streets. This will become one of the largest balconies on the parade route and provide an additional covered walkway for those traveling parallel to the courthouse.
The four-year-old Hargrove Controls + Automation division that will occupy the new site is responsible for developing computer systems that operate industrial facilities such as paper mills, chemical plants, power plants, refineries and manufacturers. “This newly restored building will accommodate our rapid growth and initially house 65 teammates,” Matt Burton, corporate director of automation technology for Hargrove, said. “By relocating the panel shop and automation business units to a common location, we will improve our capabilities, quality and overall customer experience. As our business grows, this new location will allow Hargrove to continue hiring top industry experts in the heart of downtown Mobile.” To date, locally owned Hargrove has assisted in helping revitalize the downtown area by restoring historic buildings to serve new purposes. The company is heavily involved in the Port City’s restorative efforts to make downtown Mobile a hub for innovation and technology jobs. Hargrove’s controls and automation division plans to host both domestic and international client visits to the new downtown site, with an expressed ancillary goal of helping contribute toward tourism foot traffic in the surrounding area. Hargrove Controls + Automation is one of few multiservice automation groups in the country focused on safety systems, industrial IT and plant automation. Since its inception in 2013, it has grown to include control systems engineers and specialists in all of Hargrove’s 11 offices. Founded in Mobile in 1995, Hargrove is a full-service EPC (engineering, procurement and construction), automation, life sciences and technical services firm. For more information visit the company’s website.
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Scottsdale, Arizona-based Grimaldi’s Pizzeria recently announced the opening its newest location, and the first in Alabama, inside Mobile’s Shoppes at Bel Air on Feb. 20. This will be its 49th location nationwide. According to a news release, the location will be an upscale, seated-style eatery accommodating up to 163 guests, occupying a 5,075-square-foot space inside the mall that includes a 1,075-square-foot exterior patio. “Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is very excited to be opening its first location in Alabama, as part of the expansion of The Shoppes at Bel Air,” said Joey Ciolli, company CEO. Named one of the top 50 fastest-growing restaurant groups by Restaurant Business magazine in 2013, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has since added more than 11 locations to its roster in various states, including Florida, Texas, Louisiana and South Carolina. Papa Murphy’s recently leased a 2,000-square-foot restaurant space in the Hellenic Shopping Center, located at 3764 Airport Boulevard, according to Amber Hightower Dedeaux with Vallas Realty, who represented the landlord. John Delchamps of Merrill P. Thomas Co. worked for the tenant. Plans are in place for the new eatery to open in late spring or early summer. Per Pratt Thomas with Merrill P. Thomas Co., the former Von’s Restaurant & Grill property at 12953 Wintzell Ave. in Bayou la Batre was acquired for $240,000 by local speculators. The site includes a fully functional restaurant and separate warehouse, each around 1,800 square feet in size. Plans are in place for a new eatery called Due South Grill & Barbeque to open in late March or early April. A local investor purchased some 1,800 square feet of office/warehouse space at 19070 S. Greeno Road just north of County Road 44 in Fairhope for $215,000. Sue Knight with Urban Property worked for the buyer. Tracy Womack and Sharon Wright of White-Spunner Realty represented the seller.
Via Center celebrates 45th anniversary
Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center, located at 1717 Dauphin St. in Mobile, will be celebrating its 45th anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 16. The event will look back at the nonprofit’s local history and growth over the years and announce the winner of the 2017 Arlene F. Mitchell Volunteer Service Award. Via is a 42,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility with a fitness center, gymnasium, café, auditorium, billiards room, library, art and ceramics studios, computer lab, woodshop, classrooms, card rooms, adult day services, emergency food pantry and administrative offices. The independently funded 501(c)(3) organization offers more than 80 health, fitness and enrichment programs and community needs services and has served more than 230,000 older adults, baby boomers and youth through its intergenerational programs. For more information, visit its website.
CUISINE | THE REVIEW
You be the judge
BY ANDY MACDONALD/CUISINE EDITOR | FATMANSQUEEZE@COMCAST.NET
Photos | Facebook | The Downtown Cajun Cook-Off
n my eight years or so of typing away on this laptop that has seen better days (not the same one I was originally using), I always stop to think how lucky I am to have this job. It’s a great gig. Almost daily someone says, “Oh, you’re so lucky to have that job as a food critic. I wish I could do that!” For the most part they are right. Everyone loves to eat. The modern-day foodie loves to brag about which trendy restaurant they hate and which New Orleans hotspot you should have tried. The food, the wine, the beer — yeah, it’s all pretty fantastic. But there is a less glamorous side to being a food writer. It’s when you have to eat the bad stuff. You’ll often find something less than spectacular when judging food contests. I love judging food contests. They make you feel important as you are shown your way to the secret table. It’s always a good time and the event staff usually treats you well. Everyone is all smiles and excitement, the crowd is pumped, live music is usually rocking and it all seems great. But you’re only one bad entrée away from a ruined afternoon. I’ll never forget my first contest. It was a Zatarain’s event for the Shrimp Festival. I’d been working for Lagniappe for just a few months and suddenly found myself sitting at
a table between two fantastic chefs at an event recorded for local television in Gulf Shores. I was more than nervous. Cameras don’t bother me. I just didn’t want to look foolish next to these two experienced men of the industry. I began to question what it was that I was bringing (quite literally) to the table. Panini Pete was the emcee and the show was set up a little like the Kitchen Stadium for “Iron Chef.” The first plate comes to our table. The chef to my left, whose name escapes me but was from the Grand Hotel, zeroes in on the plate. He studies the presentation, rotates the dish for a different perspective and takes what seems like a lifetime before picking up his fork. To my right is Chef Tony Nicholas from the Hungry Owl. He leans over his plate, closes his eyes and inhales. Panic stricken, I didn’t know what to do. To my left the guy is watching his food. To my right the other guy is sniffing his food. My only option to not look like a copycat was to cup my hand around my ear and lean in for a listen. I often attempt to use humor to get out of an awkward situation. This time I was the only one who thought it was funny. But the event turned out to be perfect. I had a portion of
eight or 10 different meals and walked away with a gift bag and some cash. My first job as a judge was successful. I was hooked. Other gigs followed but none came close to that day. They’re all fun, though. Chili cook-offs are a hoot. The problem is everyone thinks they can cook chili, and they probably can. But cooking four gallons of chili may not be your thing. Working your way through a couple dozen spoonfuls of bad batches on a windy winter morning is certainly going to make your afternoon less tolerable. There are some good ones but most of them are something you’d send back if you were in a restaurant. Our chili cook-off is always on a beautiful day and we are drinking beer at 10 a.m., so don’t think I am complaining. This year’s American Cancer Society Chili Cook-Off is March 11, so start practicing cooking huge volumes. Gumbo contests turn out similar to the chili events for the same reasons. When cooking that much at a time, your game is thrown off. The roux is the make-orbreak point, and a lot of roux is hard to do. As a judge, a burnt chili or gumbo is tough to shake loose. It ruins you for the next sample … and the next. If you ever have to judge anything that has the word “hot” in it, I warn you to proceed with caution. People will do a lot of dumb things in the name of making something hot. I luckily missed out on a chicken wing contest that our dear Rob Holbert couldn’t avoid. At the end the judges had to try the hot wing category. The Marine Corps had a team and decided habañero oil and cayenne would do the trick. The result, according to Rob: “Everyone was blowing snot everywhere. Brain-damagingly hot.” That can be dangerous. I recently attended two contests, the first of which was last Thursday. The folks at Old Dauphin Way Association invited me to be the sole judge of the King Cake Contest and Party. I was deeply honored, but after sampling nine slices, narrowing down and taking more bites, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I couldn’t wait for the carrots and celery snacks after all that sugar. I even forced myself to jog a mile when I got home. The second was the inaugural St. Mary Steak Out. This was an event where the crowd chose the winner by voting. Several restaurants and teams gathered in the parking lot of St. Mary School cooking bite-sized samples of steak at this sold-out, adults-only event. After the contest we were treated to a full sit-down steak dinner with all of the trimmings. Did I mention there was wine? Oh yeah, there was wine. It was a blast. The Downtown Cajun Cook-Off is one of the better judging events. There are a lot of pros at this one and the chefs take it seriously, so the food is great. This year’s event will be on Saturday, March 18, at Cathedral Square. That may interfere with some St. Paddy’s partying. We’ll see. So there you have it. The perils of food judging. It’s tougher than you think. All the calories, the booze, the loud music and people can make for an unpleasant assignment. I kid. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.
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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 ($) CLASSIC HOTDOGS, GYROS & MILKSHAKES. 3408 Pleasant Valley Rd • 345-9338
AL’S HOTDOGS ($)
CLASSIC HOTDOGS, GYROS & MILKSHAKES. 4701 Airport Blvd. • 342-3243
ATLANTA BREAD COMPANY ($-$$) SANDWICHES, SALADS & MORE. 3680 Dauphin St. • 380-0444
BAKE MY DAY ($)
OLD-FASHIONED SOUTHERN BAKE SHOP 156 N. McGregor Ave • 219-7261
THE BLIND MULE ($)
DAILY SPECIALS MADE FROM SCRATCH. 57 N. Claiborne St. • 694-6853.
BOB’S DINER ($)
GOOD OLD AMERICAN COOKING 263 St. Francis St • 405-1497
CAFE 219 ($)
SALADS, SANDWICHES & POTATO SALAD. 219 Conti St. • 438-5234
CAMELLIA CAFÉ ($-$$$) CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN FARE. 61 Section St., Fairhope • 928-4321
FAMOUS CHICKEN FINGERS. 29181 US Hwy 98 ,Daphne • 375-1104 7843 Moffett Rd. • 607-6196 1109 Shelton Beach Rd. • 287-1423 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
THE GALLEY ($)
OPEN FOR LUNCH, INSIDE GULFQUEST 155 S. Water St • 436-8901
GULF COAST EXPLOREUM CAFE ($) HOMEMADE SOUPS & SANDWICHES 65 Government St • 208-6815
GUMBO SHACK($-$$) SEAFOOD AND SANDWICHES 212 ½ Fairhope Ave • 928-4100
JAMAICAN VIBE ($)
MIND-BLOWING ISLAND FOOD. 3700 Gov’t Blvd. Ste A • 602-1973
JERSEY MIKE’S ($)
AUTHENTIC SUB SANDWICHES 7449 Airport Blvd • 375-1820
JIMMY JOHN’S ($)
SANDWICHES, CATERING & DELIVERY TOO. 6920 Airport Blvd. • 414-5444 9 Du Rhu Dr. • 340-8694 62 B Royal Street • 432-0360
JOE CAIN CAFÉ ($)
PIZZAS, SANDWICHES, COCKTAILS. 26 N. Royal St. • 338-2000
JUDY’S PLACE ($-$$)
HOME COOKING. 4054 Government St. • 665-4557
1165 University Blvd. • 202-0959
PITA PIT ($)
211 Dauphin St. • 690-7482
POLLMAN’S BAKERY ($)
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 ($-$$) SANDWICHES, SUBS AND SOUPS. 2056 Gov’t St. • 476-2777
ROLY POLY ($)
WRAPS & SALADS. 3220 Dauphin St. • 479-2480
ROSIE’S GRILL ($-$$)
SANDWICHES, SOUTHWEST FARE, 7 DAYS. 1203 Hwy 98 Ste. 3D, Daphne • 626-2440
ROYAL KNIGHT ($)
LUNCH & DINNER. 3004 Gov’t Blvd • 287-1220
ROYAL STREET CAFE ($) HOMEMADE LUNCH & BREAKFAST. 104 N. Royal St. • 434-0011
SATORI COFFEEHOUSE ($) COFFEE, SMOOTHIES, LUNCH & BEERS. 5460 Old Shell Rd. • 344-4575
SERDA’S COFFEEHOUSE ($) COFFEE, LUNCHES, LIVE MUSIC & GELATO. 3 Royal St. S. • 415-3000
STEVIE’S KITCHEN ($)
SANDWICHES, SOUPS, SALADS & MORE. 41 West I-65 Service Rd. N Suite 150.
THE SUNFLOWER CAFE ($) INSIDE VIRGINIA’S HEALTH FOOD 3055 A Dauphin St • 479-3200
TIME TO EAT CAFE ($)
MOBILE’S CLASSIC ICE CREAM SPOT. 2511 Old Shell Rd. • 471-1710
LODA BIER GARTEN ($)
DOWN-HOME COUNTRY COOKIN 7351 Theodore Dawes Rd. • 653-0228 13665 N. Wintzell Ave. • 824-1119
DELI FOODS, PASTRIES & SPECIALTY DRINKS. 4072 Old Shell Rd. • 304-0448
SOUTHERN CASUAL FAMILY DINING 10800 US hwy 31 • 621-4995
SANDWICHES, SOUTHERN CUISINE & CATERING 5817 Old Shell Rd. • 343-0200
MARS HILL CAFE ($)
QUICHES & SANDWICHES. 4366 Old Shell Rd. • 343-9889
MARY’S SOUTHERN COOKING ($)
CAMMIE’S OLD DUTCH ($) CARPE DIEM ($)
CLARK’S KITCHEN ($-$$) CHAT-A-WAY CAFE ($)
CHICKEN SALAD CHICK ($) CHICKEN SALAD, SALAD & SOUP. 2370 S. Hillcrest Rd. Unit R • 660-0501 5753 Old Shell Road • 408-3236, 1802 US Hwy 98 Suite F• 625-1092
CHI-TOWN DAWGZ ($) CHICAGO STYLE EATERY 1222 Hillcrest Rd. • 461-6599
CREAM AND SUGAR ($)
COFFEE, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DESSERT 351 George St #B • 405-0003
DAUPHIN ST. CAFE ($)
HOT LUNCH, DAILY MENU (INSIDE VIA) 1717 Dauphin St. • 470-5231
D’ MICHAEL’S ($)
PHILLY CHEESE STEAKS, GYROS & MORE. 7101-A Theodore Dawes Rd. • 653-2979
DELISH BAKERY AND EATERY ($)
PUB FOOD AND DRAFT BEERS 251 Dauphin St • 287-6871
SLAP YOUR MAMA GOOD HOME COOKING. 220 Dauphin St. • 432-6262 GREAT SANDWICHES, COFFEE & MORE. 1087 Downtowner Blvd. • 643-1611
3011 Springhill Ave. • 476-2232
MICHELI’S CAFE ($)
6358 Cottage Hill Rd. • 725-6917
MCSHARRY’S ($-$$) AUTHENTIC IRISH PUB 101 N. Bancroft St • 990-5100
MIKO’S ITALIAN ICE ($)
HOTDOGS SANDWICHES & COOL TREATS 3371 Dauphin Island Pkwy • 300–4015
MOMMA GOLDBERG’S DELI ($)
CLASSIC BURGERS, HOTDOGS & SETTING. 1808 Old Shell Rd. • 473-7872
NEWK’S EXPRESS CAFE ($)
DEW DROP INN ($)
DUNKIN DONUTS ($)
DONUTS, COFFEE AND SANDWICHES 1976 Michigan Ave • 442-4846 3876 Airport Blvd • 219-7369 505 Schillinger Rd. S. • 442-4845 29160 US Hwy 98 • 621-2228
E WING HOUSE ($)
195 S University Suite H • 662-1829
FIREHOUSE SUBS ($)
HOT SUBS, COLD SALADS & CATERING. 6300 Grelot Rd. • 631-3730
FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES ($) BURGERS, MILKSHAKES & FRIES 4401 Old Shell Rd. • 447-2394 4663 Airport Blvd. • 300-8425
THREE GEORGES CANDY SHOP ($)
LIGHT LUNCH WITH SOUTHERN FLAIR. 226 Dauphin St. • 433-6725
TROPICAL SMOOTHIE ($)
GREAT SMOOTHIES, WRAPS & SANDWICHES. Du Rhu Dr. • 378-5648 570 Schillinger Road • 634-3454
UNCLE JIMMY’S DELICIOUS HOTDOGS ($)
2550 Dauphin Island Pkwy S. • 307-5328
WAREHOUSE BAKERY & DONUTS ($)
COFFEE AND DONUTS 759 Nichols Avenue, Fairhope • 928-7223
WILD WING STATION ($)
MUFFINS, COFFEE & WRAPS. 105 Dauphin St. • 433-9855
OVEN-BAKED SANDWICHES & MORE. 1335 Satchel Page Dr. Suite C. • 287-7356 7440 Airport Blvd. • 633-0096 30500 State Hwy 181 #132 • 625-6544
OLD SHELL GROWLERS($) GROWLER STATION AND BITES 1801 Old Shell Rd. • 345-4767
PANINI PETE’S ($)
GOURMET GRILLED CHEESE 5955 Old Shell Rd. • 287-6134 1500 Gov’t St. • 287-1526
YAK THE KATHMANDU KITCHEN ($-$$)
AUTHENTIC FOODS FROM HIMALAYAN REGION. 3210 Dauphin St. • 287-0115 400 Eastern Shore Center • 459-2862
BACKYARD CAFE & BBQ ($) HOME COOKIN’ LIKE MOMMA MADE. 2804 Springhill Ave. • 473-4739
BAR-B-QUING WITH MY HONEY ($$)
BBQ, BURGERS, WINGS & SEAFOOD 19170 Hwy 43 Mt. Vernon. • 839-9927
ORIGINAL SANDWICH AND BAKE SHOP. 42 ½ Section St., Fairhope • 929-0122 102 Dauphin St. • 405-0031
BRICK PIT ($)
PAT’S DOWNTOWN GRILL ($)
COTTON STATE BBQ ($)
BAR FOOD 271 Dauphin St • 438-9585
CHICKEN FINGERS, SALAD & SANDWICHES.
THAI FARE AND SUSHI 2000 Airport Blvd. • 478-9888
A TAPAS RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS 64 S. Water St. • 438-4000
HIBACHI GRILL & ASIAN CUISINE. 309 Bel Air Blvd • 470-8033
FOOD, WINE AND MORE. 5150 Old Shell Rd. • 341-1497
2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062
WINE BAR, CRAFT BEERS & BISTRO 6808 Airport Blvd. • 343-3555
QUALITY FOOD, EXCELLENT SERVICE 5045 Cottage Hill Rd. • 607-6454
MOE’S ORIGINAL BAR B QUE ($) BARBEQUE & MUSIC. Bayfront Park Dr., Daphne • 625-RIBS 701 Springhill Ave. • 410-7427 4672 Airport Blvd. • 300-8516
SAUCY Q BARBQUE ($) AWARD-WINNING BARBQUE. 1111 Gov’t Blvd. • 433-7427
SMOKEY DEMBO SMOKE HOUSE ($)
3758 Dauphin Island Pkwy. • 473-1401
TILMO’S BBQ ($)
FAST BBQ W/ DRIVE-THRU 3249 Dauphin St. • 652-3508
DROP DEAD GOURMET BAY GOURMET ($$)
A PREMIER CATERER & COOKING CLASSES. 1880-A Airport Blvd. • 450-9051
BRIQUETTES STEAKHOUSE ($-$$)
GRILLED STEAKS, CHICKEN & SEAFOOD. 720A Schillinger Rd. S. S2. • 607-7200 901 Montlimar Dr • 408-3133
CORNER 251 ($-$$)
HIGH QUALITY FOOD AND DRINKS 251 Government St • 460-3157
HIGH QUALITY FOOD WITH A VIEW 107 St. Francis St • 444-0200
TP CROCKMIERS ($)
MOSTLY MUFFINS ($)
WINE, BEER, GOURMET FOODS, & MORE. 720 Schillinger Rd. S. Unit 8 • 287-1851
SEAFOOD AND SUSHI 551 Dauphin St.• 219-7051
GREAT DESSERTS & HOT LUNCH. 23 Upham St. • 473-6115
RIBS, SANDWICHES & GREAT SIDES. 3314 Old Shell Rd. • 479-9898
DREAMLAND BBQ ($)
TIN ROOF ($-$$)
SANDWICHES & MOMMA’S LOVE. 3696 Airport Blvd. • 344-9500 5602 Old Shell Rd. • 287-6556
FRESH CARIBBEAN-STYLE FOOD & CRAFT BEER. 6601 Airport Blvd. • 634-3445 225 Dauphin Street • 375-1576
4671 Airport Blvd. • 344-7414
SERVING LOCAL SEAFOOD & PRODUCE 167 Dauphin St. • 458-9573
AMERICAN RESTAURANT & BAR 250 Dauphin St. • 476-1890
A FAVORITE BARBECUE SPOT. 5456 Old Shell Rd. • 343-0001
DOWNTOWN LUNCH 101 N. Conception St. • 545-4682
DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT ($-$$)
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CUISINE OF INDIA ($$)
BBQ AND MORE. Jubilee Sq.Ctr. Hwy 90, Daphne • 210-2151 McGowin Park Ctr. Satchel Paige Dr. • 471-1050 7721 Airport Blvd • 380-8957
CHUCK’S FISH ($$) FIVE ($$)
GREAT FOOD AND COCKTAILS 609 Dauphin St. • 308-3105
KITCHEN ON GEORGE ($-$$) CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FOOD. 351A George & Savannah St. • 436-8890
MAGHEE’S GRILL ON THE HILL ($-$$) GREAT LUNCH & DINNER. 3607 Old Shell Rd. • 445-8700
A LITTLE VINO DOMKE MARKET
FUJI SAN ($)
GOLDEN BOWL ($)
HIBACHI 1 ($-$$)
KAI JAPANESE RESTAURANT ($-$$)
FIREHOUSE WINE BAR & SHOP
216 St Francis St. • 421-2022
RED OR WHITE
323A De La Mare Ave, Fairhope • 990-0003 1104 Dauphin St.. • 478-9494
ROYAL STREET TAVERN
LIVE MUSIC, MARTINIS & DINNER MENU. 26 N. Royal St. • 338-2000
BISTRO PLATES, CRAFT BEERS AND PANTRY. 2304 Main St. • 375-2800
UPSCALE WINE BAR 9 Du Rhu Dr. S 201 • 287-7135
FALAFEL? TRY SOME H-UMMUS 7 SPICE ($-$$)
HEALTHY, DELICIOUS MEDITERRANEAN FOOD. 3762 Airport Blvd. • 725-1177
ABBA’S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE ($-$$) BEEF, LAMB & SEAFOOD. 4356 Old Shell Rd. • 340-6464
MEDITERRANEAN SANDWICH COMPANY ($)
OSMAN’S RESTAURANT ($$)
OLLIE’S MEDITERRANEAN GRILL ($-$$)
SAGE RESTAURANT ($$) INSIDE THE MOBILE MARRIOTT. 3101 Airport Blvd. • 476-6400
MODERN GASTROPUB INSPIRED BY JAPANESE KITCHEN 455 Dauphin St • 433-0376
VON’S BISTRO ($-$$)
SEAFOOD, ASIAN AND AMERICAN CUISINE 69 St. Michael St • 375-1113
TAMARA’S DOWNTOWN ($$) CASUAL FINE DINING. 104 N. Section St., Fairhope • 929-2219
THE TRELLIS ROOM ($$$)
CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN CUISINE Battle House Hotel, Royal St. • 338-5493
GOURMET ROTISSERIE. PRIME RIB & SEAFOOD.
TASTE OF THAI ($$)
9091 US-90 Irvington • 957-1414
TOKYO JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE ($$) UPSCALE SUSHI & HIBACHI. 364 Azalea Rd. • 343-6622
WASABI SUSHI ($$)
JAPANESE CUISINE. 3654 Airport Blvd. S. C • 725-6078
FROM THE DEPTHS BAUDEAN’S ($$)
FRIED, GRILLED, STEAMED & ALWAYS FRESH. 3300 River Rd. • 973-9070
BOUDREAUX’S CAJUN GRILL ($-$$)
MEDITERRANEAN FOOD AND HOOKAH 326 Azalea Rd • 229-4206
GREAT MEDITERRANEAN FOOD. 5951 Old Shell Rd. • 450-9191
EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE & TASTE. 271 Glenwood St. • 476-0516
273 S. McGregor Ave • 287-0555, 6345 Airport Blvd. • 287-0555, 940 Industrial Pkwy • 308-2158
KAN ZAMAN ($-$$)
INVENTIVE & VERY FRESH CUISINE. 6 N. Jackson St. • 433-0377
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE ($$$)
ROCK N ROLL SUSHI ($$)
BONEFISH GRILL ($$)
MOBILE’S OLDEST MIDDLE EASTERN CUISINE. 5773 Airport Blvd. • 304-1155
MINT HOOKAH BISTRO ($)
GUMBO, ANGUS BEEF & BAR. 72. S. Royal St. • 432-SCAM (7226)
3964 Gov’t Blvd. • 378-8083
JERUSALEM CAFE ($-$$)
ROYAL SCAM ($$)
RICE ASIAN GRILL & SUSHI BAR ($)
THE BLUEGILL ($-$$)
AUTHENTIC TURKISH & MEDITERRANEAN 3702 Airport Blvd. • 461-6901
LOCAL INGREDIENTS 203 Dauphin St. • 690-6824
SUPREME EUROPEAN CUISINE. 2579 Halls Mill Rd. • 479-0006
AMAZING SUSHI & ASSORTMENT OF ROLLS. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-0109
ISTANBUL GRILL ($)
GREAT & QUICK. 3702 Airport Blvd. • 308-2131 274 Dauphin St. • 545-3161 2502 Schillinger Rd. Ste. 2 • 725-0126 6890 US-90 (DAPHNE) • 621-2271
NOBLE SOUTH ($$)
LUNCH BUFFET 3674 Airport Blvd. • 341-6171
MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT AND HOOKAH 1248 Hillcrest St • 634-9820
FAR EASTERN FARE BAMBOO BISTRO ($$) 3662 Airport Blvd. • 378-5466
BAMBOO FUSION ($$) 2400 Airport Blvd. • 307-5535
BAMBOO STEAKHOUSE ($$) SUSHI BAR. 650 Cody Rd. S • 300-8383
BANGKOK THAI ($-$$)
DELICIOUS, TRADITIONAL THAI CUISINE. 3821 Airport Blvd. • 344-9995
BANZAI JAPANESE RESTAURANT ($$)
TRADITIONAL SUSHI & LUNCH. 312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-9077
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
ED’S SEAFOOD SHED ($$)
FRIED SEAFOOD SERVED IN HEFTY PORTIONS. 3382 Hwy. 98 • 625-1947
FELIX’S FISH CAMP ($$) 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
HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE ($) 30500 AL-181 • Spanish Fort • 206-8768 3654 Airport Blvd. • 338-9350
LUCY B. GOODE ($$)
GULF COAST CUISINE, REINVENTED. 200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores • 967-5858
LIVE MUSIC & GREAT SEAFOOD. 200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores • 967-5858
MUDBUGS AT THE LOOP ($)
CAJUN KITCHEN & SEAFOOD MARKET. 2005 Government St. • 478-9897
THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT! 1595 Battleship Pkwy • 626-0045
THAI & SUSHI 5369 D Hwy 90 W • 661-5100 THAI KITCHEN AND SUSHI BAR 960 Schillinger Rd. S • 660-4470
RALPH & KACOO’S ($-$$) R&R SEAFOOD ($-$$)
LAID-BACK EATERY AND FISH MARKET 1477 Battleship Pkwy. • 621-8366
RIVER SHACK ($-$$)
SEAFOOD, BURGERS & STEAKS. 6120 Marina Dr., Dog River • 443-7318.
TIN TOP RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR ($$)
HURRICANE GRILL & WINGS ($-$$)
WINGS, SEAFOOD, BURGERS AND BEER 7721 Airport Blvd. Suite E-180 • 639-6832
ISLAND WING CO ($)
SEAFOOD, STEAKS, & EXTENSIVE WINE LIST. 6232 Bon Secour Hwy County Rd. 10. • 949-5086
EVERYTHING BAKED OR GRILLED 2617 Dauphin St. • 476-9464
WINTZELL’S OYSTER HOUSE ($-$$)
1715 Main St. • 375-0543
FRESH SEAFOOD FOR OVER 75 YEARS 605 Dauphin St. • 432-4605 6700 Airport Blvd. • 341-1111 1208 Shelton Beach Rd., Saraland • 442-3335 805 S. Mobile St. • 929-2322
IS THE GAME ON?
ASHLAND MIDTOWN PUB ($-$$) 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 ($) BEST WINGS & SPORTING EVENTS. 6341 Airport Blvd. • 378-5955
BUTCH CASSIDY’S ($)
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
MCSHARRY’S IRISH PUB ($) BRILLIANT REUBENS & FISH-N-CHIPS. 101 N. Brancroft St. Fairhope • 990-5100
MUG SHOTS ($$)
BAR & GRILL. 6255 Airport Blvd. • 447-2514
OLD 27 GRILL ($)
BURGERS, DOGS & 27 BEERS & WINES. 19992 Hwy.181 Old County Rd. Fairhope • 281-2663
LUCKY’S IRISH PUB ($) IRISH PUB FARE & MORE. 3692 Airport Blvd • 414-3000
WINGS, TENDERS, HOTDOGS & SANDWICHES. 312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-5877
LA ROSSO ($$)
COMFORT FOOD. 1716 Main St. Ste. C, Daphne • 281-2982
MACARONI GRILL ($$)
SMALL PLATES, PIZZAS, PASTAS AND WINE 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556
MELLOW MUSHROOM ($)
PIES & AWESOME BEER SELECTION. 2032 Airport Blvd. • 471-4700 5660 Old Shell Rd. • 380-1500 29698 Frederick Blvd, Daphne • 621-3911
NAVCO PIZZA ($$)
PIZZA, SUBS & PASTA. 1368 ½ Navco Rd.• 479-0066
PAPA’S PLACE ($$)
A TASTE OF ITALY . BYOB. 28691 U.S. Highway 98 • 626-1999
PINZONE’S ITALIAN VILLAGE ($$)
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN DISHES 312 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope • 990-5535
PIZZA, PASTA, SALAD & MORE 102 N. Section St. • 929-2525
PIZZERIA DELFINA ($)
PIZZA & PASTA 107 Dauphin St. • 375-1644
DELIVERY. 350 Dauphin St. • 431-9444
PASTA, SALAD AND SANDWICHES. 7143 Airport Blvd. • 341-7217
BUCK’S PIZZA ($$) CORTLAND’S PIZZA PUB ($-$$) GREAT PIZZA. LUNCH & DINNER. 4356 Old Shell Road • 342-0024
ROMA CAFE ($-$$)
ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL ($$)
Springdale Mall 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556
OLÉ MI AMIGO! AZTECAS ($-$$)
TASTE OF MEXICO 5452 Hwy 90 W • 661-5509
ENCHILADAS, TACOS, & AUTHENTIC FARE. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-2453
HARD ROCK CASINO:
FRESH CUISINE NIGHTLY ON MENU. 1709 Main St., Daphne • 626-6082
HOMEMADE PASTAS & PIZZAS MADE DAILY. 5901 Old Shell Rd. • 342-3677
777 Beach Blvd.Biloxi • 877-877-6256
HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE ($-$$) SEAFOOD
LOS ARCOS ($)
CASUAL & RELAXING, EXTENSIVE MENU. 3300 W. Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 877-774-8439
BEACH BLVD STEAMER ($) CARTER GREEN STEAKHOUSE ($$-$$$) RICH TRADITIONS, STEAK, SEAFOOD
C&G GRILLE ($)
LARGE BREAKFAST, LUNCH OR DINNER MENU.
158 Howard Ave. Biloxi • 800-725-2239
STEAKS, SEAFOOD, FINE WINE
PLACE BUFFET ($-$$) INTERACTIVE ASIAN DINING
QUAINT MEXICAN RESTAURANT. 5556 Old Shell Rd. • 345-7484
HARD ROCK CAFÉ ($)
STACKED GRILL ($-$$)
LA COCINA ($)
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE ($$$)
AMERICAN FARE & ROCKIN’ MEMORABILIA.
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE. 4633 Airport Blvd. • 342-5553
EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE & TASTE.
MARIA BONITA AGAVE BAR & GRILL ($-$$)
SATISFACTION ($-$$) SOUTHERN FAVORITES BUFFET
MEXICAN CUISINE. 3977 Gov’t Blvd. • 660-4970
VIA EMILIA ($$)
BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, LATE NIGHT
TASTE OF MEXICO 880 Schillinger Rd. S. • 633-6122 5805 US 90 • 653-9163
TRATTORIA PIZZA & ITALIAN ($$)
HACIENDA SAN MIGUEL ($-$$)
GAMBINO’S ITALIAN GRILL ($)
ITALIAN FOOD & PIZZAS. 11311 US HIghway 31 Spanish Fort• 375-0076
OLÉ MI AMIGO ($-$$)
ITALIAN, STEAKS & SEAFOOD. 18 Laurel Ave. Fairhope • 990-0995
EXOTIC CUISINE AND SUSHI
TERRACE CAFE ($)
OUTSTANDING MEXICAN CUISINE. 2066 Old Shell Rd. • 378-8621
INTERACTIVE ASIAN DINING
DAUPHIN ST. TAQUERIA ($)
FINE DINING ESTABLISHMENT. BURGER, WINGS, PIZZA
MEXICAN CUISINE 260 Azalea Rd. • 375-1095
SEAFOOD, STEAKS, WINE
HIGH TIDE CAFÉ ($)
COAST RESTAURANT ($-$$)
CINCO DE MAYO ($)
875 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 888-952-2582
BR PRIME ($$-$$$)
MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722
TAMARA’S BAR & GRILL ($)
WINGS, PO-BOYS, BURGERS. 210 Eastern Shore Center, Hwy. 98 • 929-0002
CAFÉ DEL RIO ($-$$)
GAMBINO BROTHERS ($) HOMEMADE PASTAS & SANDWICHES. 873 Hillcrest Ave. • 344-8115
NO GAMBLING CASINO FARE
HARRAH’S GULF COAST:
280 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 288-436-2946
HEARTY MEXICAN FARE 736 holcombe Ave.• 473-0413 LATIN AMERICAN FOOD 211 Dauphin St. • 375-1076
MAGNOLIA HOUSE ($$-$$$) FINE DINING, SEAFOOD AND STEAKS
FLAVORS BUFFET ($-$$) ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET
TAQUERIA MEXICO ($-$$) AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FLAVOR. 3733 Airport Blvd. • 414-4496
BURGERS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN 1980 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 800-747-2839
THE DEN ($-$$)
INTIMATE & CASUAL WITH DAILY SPECIALS.
ELEGANT ATMOSPHERE & TANTALIZING ENTREES.
LOUNGE WITH COCKTAILS & TAPAS MENU.
WIND CREEK CASINO:
303 Poarch Rd. Atmore • 866-946-3360
PRIME STEAKS, SEAFOOD & WINE.
850 BAYVIEW AVE. BILOXI-- • 888-946-2847
CONTEMPORARY & OLD-FASHIONED FAVORITES.
SEND LISTINGS TO LISTINGS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
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CUISINE | THE BEER PROFESSOR
Let the good beer flow! BY TOM WARD/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
t’s Mardi Gras time in Mobile, and while you may be stuck with flavorless Budmilcoorlite at the balls, you can stock your Yeti with something tastier for the parades — and in the spirit of the season — if you look hard enough. As expected, Louisiana brewers have a host of special Mardi Gras beers for the Carnival season. Abita, the granddaddy of craft brewing in the Pelican State, turns out its Mardi Gras Bock every year at this time. The light, German-style lager is a regional favorite, and I know many people around here look forward to its release every year. It is sweet with lots of malt flavor, and will go great with chickenon-a-stick on Government Street watching the Comic Cowboys roll by. Up Interstate 12 from Abita Springs, Baton Rouge’s Tin Roof Brewery produces a number of good beers that are available in our area, including its seasonal Parade Ground Coffee Porter, brewed only during the winter months. I love dark beers, but don’t always like the new
WORD OF MOUTH
P.F. Chang’s opens at Bel Air BY ANDY MACDONALD
By the time you read this, P.F. Chang’s will have had its grand opening in the Shoppes at Bel Air. The Feb. 13 opening date has been heavily anticipated by those who crave the farm-to-wok cooking they’re known for. It’s been 15 years since I last enjoyed P.F. Chang’s food, so I am as excited as anyone. This 6,000-square-foot restaurant is the first P.F. Chang’s in our area and, as far as I’m aware, is (along with soon-to-be neighbor Grimaldi’s Pizzeria), the only restaurant at Bel Air that features outdoor seating. It’s also a great place to have a cocktail after you shop. Everything is made to order and the rice is 100 percent U.S. grown. Definitely try Chang’s Spicy Chicken. Happy hour is 3-6 p.m. every weekday. Be sure to grab a Honey Thyme gin and tonic. Doors are open, and you owe it to yourself if you haven’t seen the giant horse statue just outside. Welcome to Mobile!
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trend of putting every type of crazy ingredient in stouts and porters. Coffee has become a favorite flavor to add to darker beers, but unlike some coffee porters and stouts, the coffee in Parade Ground is not too overpowering; instead, it’s an excellent complement to the beer. Get one before they’re gone! Thibodaux’s Mudbug Brewery produces its King Cake Ale year-round and touts it as “The Official Beer of Mardi Gras.” I’ve been to my share of Mardi Gras celebrations, from Fairhope to New Orleans and everywhere in between, and I’d never heard of Mudbug’s King Cake Ale, and with good reason. I was skeptical of a king cake beer, but I figured it was worth a try — I was wrong; it was atrocious. If you are mad at anyone, I’ve got a five pack of it left for you. Closer to the home of the original Mardi Gras, brewers in Baldwin County also produce some seasonal brews for carnival season. Down by the Gulf, Big Beach Brewing Co. has plans to put out a special bock for Mardi Gras, but
Grimaldi’s set to open next week
As if there isn’t enough going on at Bel Air, right smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras, Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizzeria is opening Monday, Feb. 20, just across from P.F. Chang’s. This is the 49th Grimaldi’s location and the first in our state. “Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is very excited to be opening its first location in Alabama, as part of the expansion of The Shoppes at Bel Air,” said Joey Ciolli, Grimaldi’s chief executive officer. “We’re looking forward to sharing our high-quality, award-winning pizza and community-focused values with the people of Mobile.” The open kitchen of this 163-seat restaurant is inviting to patrons who want to watch pizza tossing first hand, but it’s the coal-fired ovens that are attracting all of the attention. These hand-built contraptions go through 100 pounds of coal per day and reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees! That makes for a pretty special crust.
Williams-Sonoma is here
Legacy Village is now home to
I don’t have any details on it yet. Fairhope Brewing Co., on the other hand, has released a number of special Mardi Gras beers in the past, including the Merry Widows Russian Imperial Stout and a King Cake Stout. This year it will debut the Bubba Likes Moonpie Stout, which owner Brian Kane described as having as having “all that creamy marshmallow flavor you would expect out of a beer inspired by one of Mardi Gras’ favorite treats.” Support your local breweries and grab a pint, or fill up a growler of local beer and take it to the parade! When out at the parades this season, please remember to keep Mobile beautiful and recycle your bottles and cans. As they have since 2012, the Cleaner, Greener LoDa Committee and the Alabama Coastal Foundation coordinate an Eco-Team of volunteers to collect recyclables downtown and along the parade routes. If you are interested in joining the Eco-Team, visit joinacf.org for information. Let the good times roll and Laissez le bon débit de bière!
Williams-Sonoma, specifically at 9 Du Rhu Drive, Suite 340. The purveyor of fine cookware, kitchen gadgets and most things food related is a spot I’d best treat like a casino: only take in as much money as I can afford to lose. I could drop a paycheck there with ease. Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to grab my birthday present.
David’s Catfish House returns
There has been a tremendous void in the catfish world since David’s Catfish shut down a few years ago. Coming soon is the return of our heroes, champions of coleslaw, whole catfish and hush puppies, just down the street from their former location! The address is 10810 U.S. Highway 31 in Spanish Fort, but you may know it as the former Junkyard. It’s next to an actual junkyard. We will let you know the opening date so you can ride with me and Rasp. Recycle!
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Public housing shortage amplified while MHB evolves DALE LIESCH/REPORTER
ith two of its largest and oldest assets Hill Place, was recently awarded tax credits from the Alavacant and awaiting demolition, the Mobile bama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA). Shackelford Housing Board finds itself at a crossroads. The said there are plans for more replacement housing. board of commissioners and the public housThe two complexes facing the wrecking ball — Joing agency it oversees must find a way to make existing sephine Allen Homes north of downtown and Roger conditions better for current residents, while also commitWilliams Homes on Three Mile Creek — are completely ting resources to a $750 million renovation of two entire vacant. But there are also plans to redevelop Roger Wilsections of its decades-old housing stock. liams Homes along with the southside properties. Additionally, MHB is working through a backlog Since MHB’s plan to convert all its properties to a rentof thousands on its waiting lists — which some have al assistance demonstration (RAD) program and redevelop attributed to an affordable housing shortage — and is a number of its oldest complexes has both short-term and dealing with an occupancy of only 50 percent at two of long-term objectives, Shackelford said, it makes sense to its largest properties. keep an eye to the future while maintaining the present. Despite recent condemnation from the United States “Our plan has both short-term and long-term goals,” Department of Housing and Urban Development and the she said. “We’ll have to look at each property — and resignation of Dwayne Vaughn as executive director, the that will coincide with the ongoing process with HUD in board is looking to move forward as effectively and efBirmingham — to look at each property and see what the ficiently as it can. proper level of occupancy is. I do believe you’ll see more Chairwoman Kimberly Pettway said MHB would both occupancy at those sites.” look to the future and attempt to put One big problem involving the more money into apartments that are current state of the board’s occupied currently occupied. She acknowlapartments is a lack of qualified edged that hasn’t always been the maintenance people, one former case. MHB merit system employee said. THE TWO COMPLEXES “Mr. Vaughn was probably, in my When the board laid off 16 superopinion, a bit too focused on what is visors in 2014 and shifted from FACING THE WRECKING BALL to come and not focused enough on site-based maintenance to a more what we have currently,” Pettway centralized system, problems at the — JOSEPHINE ALLEN HOMES said. “I can assure you that you will various housing sites persisted, the NORTH OF DOWNTOWN AND see a shift in that.” employee said. Both Pettway and interim ExecuPettway referenced the issue durROGER WILLIAMS HOMES ON tive Director Lori Shackelford said ing a special called board meeting MHB would “refocus” its efforts to on Monday, Feb. 13. She told other THREE MILE CREEK — ARE make more apartments ready for occommissioners that during a recent COMPLETELY VACANT. cupancy and maintain the occupied visit to Mobile, HUD officials had apartments they already have. suggested MHB go back to a site“If you have a more short-term based system. redevelopment plan then it makes The board voted to move in that sense not to completely occupy a site to then have to turn direction, which would mean hiring more maintenance around and remove the people from the site,” Shackelford staff in the near future. Pettway said the previous system said. “If your redevelopment plan is too far in the future, led to maintenance staff simply repairing reported issues then you need to fill vacancies now.” but not evaluating the whole apartment. Currently, there are a number of properties that are “We’ve had a culture of abate, abate, abate,” she said. nearly 100 percent occupied, Shackelford said, while oth“Our thinking about that process has to change.” ers, mainly those targeted for major, mixed-use, mixedShe said the old way of performing maintenance was income redevelopment — such as R.V. Taylor and Thomas “unacceptable.” James Place — are closer to 50 percent occupied. “If you wouldn’t stay there, don’t leave there” without Together, Thomas James and R.V. Taylor have about fixing the issues, Pettway said. 700 residents. Some of the tenants displaced by the redeWaiting lists velopment will be housed in replacement housing both onPettway acknowledges the waiting lists are too long and off-site. One of those complexes, the 80-unit Cottage
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considering the board’s mission. “I don’t have a clear picture as to all of the variables that play a role in that waiting list, but most certainly, if you consider that our mission is to provide housing and we have a waiting list of over 5,000 people, somewhere in my mind that’s an indication we are not fulfilling the role for which we were created,” she said. “The ‘whys’ behind that vary, but it’s concerning.” That being said, cutting into the waiting list won’t necessarily be a priority, as the board will be focused on “what we have,” Pettway said. “We’re not just holding monies or resources over to the side in hopes of planning, you know, for what’s to come,” she said. “Rather, we are making use of what we can now to ensure we are fulfilling our obligations to our current residents.” As of late 2015, more than 5,000 people were currently awaiting either public housing or a housing choice, or Section 8, voucher. More recent numbers were not available as of press time, but Shackelford said he didn’t believe the numbers have changed that much. The vast majority of the waiting list is populated with people who want a Section 8 voucher. There are only about 668 people waiting for MHB apartments. Shackelford said it’s not uncommon to have a large Section 8 waiting list. “We have additional funding and we continue to lease, but we definitely don’t have enough money for everyone on the Section 8 waiting list,” Shackelford said. “I think that’s really the preferred program because you can take it wherever you want in the city. We always have an overabundance of people on the housing choice voucher list.”
Affordable housing shortage
Despite more than 31 approved tax credit properties, a number of groups specializing in helping the homeless contend the city and the county equally are suffering from a shortage in the affordable housing market. Housing First CEO Eric Jefferson said it’s obvious in the city. One problem among many is that tax credit properties are only required to set aside a certain number of units for low-income earners. Kristi Gates, a spokeswoman for the AHFA, said a section of of the Internal Revenue Code requires either 20 percent of the units be set aside for families earning below 50 percent of the area median income, or at least 40 percent of the units be set aside for families earning below 60 percent of the area median income. Jefferson added that many landlords adhere to an unwritten rule requiring lessees to earn an income equal to three times the monthly rent. For example, Jefferson said, a person renting a $600 per month apartment would need to make $1,800 per month to qualify. He said this even applies at some tax credit properties. To highlight the problem, Jefferson said 42 percent of the clients he sees only need affordable housing and no other assistance. Another 48 percent only need rapid rehousing, due to a catastrophic event. In all, 60 percent of Housing First clients have incomes, Jefferson said, just not much of an income. “[If] they have a medical emergency ... they end up on the street,” he said. Further, Jefferson said, MHB has no preference for homelessness, so Housing First clients must be placed on the authority’s waiting lists like everyone else. Another issue is that Jefferson’s agency has access to millions of dollars for families, or individuals suffering from a disability; however, roughly 60 percent of Housing First clients are not disabled and single. That means the organization only has access to $240,000 per year for the majority of its clients. Jessica James, executive director of McKemie Place, agreed that there is a shortage of affordable housing in the city. One reason for the shortage, James said, is the stigma attached to public housing. While many believe crime is as
Photo | Daniel Anderson
sociated with public housing, James said most people who live in public housing just want “a comfortable home.” She said there can be a number of reasons people need affordable housing. “There are a lot of us living paycheck to paycheck and don’t know how real of a possibility this is,” James said. “It could affect us.” James’ clients at the temporary overnight shelter for women can get on the housing board waiting list and seek services from Housing First as well.
Some of the ancillary services 15 Place used to provide went away recently, Jefferson said. Those services included bag drop-off, showers, mail service and lunch. Jefferson blamed funding issues, which have plagued the services since Housing First took over 15 Place two and a half years ago. The organization requested additional funding from HUD this year but were denied. “I don’t feel good about making this decision, but we can’t afford to continue to run it,” Jefferson said. The services were estimated to cost Housing First $186,000 this year, he said. 15 Place will remain open as a point of intake and counseling, Jefferson said. Despite rumors to the contrary, McKemie Place will remain open, James said. However, the loss of services at 15 Place will affect McKemie Place clients, she said, as many are dropped off there during the day. “The closing of 15 Place’s ancillary day services for our area’s homeless was certainly a disappointment for us at McKemie Place,” said Garrett Rice, president of the McKemie Place board of directors. “We are currently
working diligently for a temporary solution to the challenges that lie ahead of us in our efforts to serve the homeless women in our community. We look forward to working with other area agencies who support the homeless in our community on a more permanent solution to assist those who need these essential services.”
While the funding isn’t yet in place, Jefferson said Housing First has designs on an abandoned hotel on the Interstate 65 beltline that it would like to convert into 150 affordable housing units. The units would be a start, he said, as more than 650 units are needed in the area. Currently the only funds in the state used for affordable housing come from HUD, either directly or through Community Development Block Grants. However, a state funding source could be made available through an act of the Alabama Legislature. Ashley Kerr, project manager for the Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama, said House Bill 159, if approved, would create an Alabama Housing Trust Fund. The bill would increase the fee collected when someone purchases or refinances a mortgage from 15 cents per $100 of indebtedness to 30 cents per $100 of indebtedness. The fee, Kerr said, hasn’t been increased since the 1930s. The increase would mean an additional $15 million to $20 million per year for affordable housing, even after counties take their cut, Kerr said. “It could help the affordable housing situation in some cities,” she said. “We have stock that is quite old. Some new units and some renovation is needed.”
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Ballet board brouhaha boils in lawsuit BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
ractious rifts at Mobile Ballet are now public after a legal complaint against a majority of the board of directors was filed in Mobile County Circuit Court Jan. 27. A trio of current and past board members named 10 other board members and the director as defendants in the civil action. The 52-page verified derivative lawsuit alleged breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy to breach those duties, among other serious allegations. Twenty-five pages of documentary evidence accompany the suit. “It’s not the purpose of this lawsuit for disgruntled people to vent their frustrations about what the majority has done. The nature of this lawsuit is to save Mobile Ballet as we have known it for 30 years. If this lawsuit fails, Mobile Ballet as we have known it will fail,” attorney Ray Thompson said. The local arts realm was shocked when Winthrop Corey suddenly stepped down as Mobile Ballet’s artistic director just before its 2016 “Nutcracker” performance, ending his 30 years there. “I believe he has been almost singlehandedly responsible for turning Mobile Ballet into the widely respected classical ballet organization it is today,” current board member Beverly Davis said. She was on the board when Corey arrived. The lawsuit sketches the dysfunction it alleged led to Corey’s departure. The schism appears vast. “We have a managing director right now who is costing us huge sums of money through her negligence, malfeasance, misfeasance and self-dealing. These are all specifically outlined in the lawsuit and backed by facts,” current board member Monty Thull said. Plaintiffs are current board members Davis and Thull along with immediate past board member Rhea Mostellar. The only other current board members not named as defendants are Catherine Scott Ashbee, Marie Grip, Libby Lyon and Jean Tucker. “Those of us who have opposed the current regime have done our level best to do what we can do. When you run out of options you have two choices: You can throw your hands up and walk away or you can say you’ll do the right thing,” Thull said about the decision for legal action. He has been a board member for six years. The lawsuit is detailed. It opens by connecting directors and their various ties beyond Mobile Ballet. A pair of doctors, one being Board President Sandra Parker, M.D., are husband and wife. Others have business relations through medical and educational institutions and their related industries, including with Mobile Ballet Managing/Development Director Karen Kennedy. The complaint alleges current issues began in 2012 when Becky Tate became board president and Kennedy was hired as a part-time development director. It’s claimed Tate unlawfully appointed Kennedy managing director in 2012, which was “kept secret” for more than a year. During an August 2013 board retreat, Kennedy was still introduced as development director with no mention of her new title. “All I can say is to the best of my recollection, she was never officially named managing director by the board as a whole,” Davis said. The suit says the board was subsequently packed with those linked to Kennedy, and Parker’s 2015 ascension to board president saw more of the same. Kennedy allegedly requested and received pay raises annually from 2012-16. “There are such conflicts of interest among the majority board members that we cannot get 10 or 12 independent decisions from the people. They are all so co-opted and so beholden to Becky Tate, Sandra Parker and Karen Kennedy that basically they do what those three tell them to do,” Thompson said. “So many of them are tied together through business and we have spouses on there. The development director
has basically packed this board with people she knows will vote with her,” current board member Ashbee said. Kennedy is a prime target of the complaint. It contends she, “hired unnecessary staff, further wasting ballet assets, in an effort to eliminate volunteers and cement her domineering, dictatorial control … has destroyed the resources of enthusiastic volunteers … is guilty of intentional selfdealing, intentional wasting of assets.” The suit also alleges Kennedy, Parker and their husbands took a November 2015 trip to New Orleans to watch the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and charged a portion of the cost of their stay at the Windsor Court Hotel — along with mileage and other expenses — to Mobile Ballet.
A TRIO OF CURRENT AND PAST BOARD MEMBERS NAMED 10 OTHER BOARD MEMBERS AND THE DIRECTOR AS DEFENDANTS IN THE CIVIL ACTION.” In a Feb. 13 email, Parker, speaking on behalf of Kennedy, said the lawsuit “has not been reviewed by all concerned” and they would be in a better position to comment later. “What you’re going to hear from her is, ‘Oh, I was over there to look at the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe to see if Mobile Ballet wanted to bring them to Mobile to perform.’ Let me tell you what’s wrong with that: That was not her job. That’s the job for the artistic director, not the managing director,” Thompson said. Corey was still artistic director at the time. The attorney isn’t sure the board even knew about the Crescent City junket, as records indicate Kennedy waited some seven months to seek reimbursement. “We saw that when we were going through [the old financial records] and asked about it. At the meeting they had a defense of it. They said they paid for some of it out of their own pockets and it wasn’t as bad as it looked,” Ashbee said. The complaint alleges Kennedy hired her husband, Jeff Kennedy, as official photographer for Mobile Ballet and that from 2013-16 they “inappropriately funneled $40,000 in photography services to his photography business without seeking competitive bids.” The suit lists billed photographic services that climbed from $9,604 (July 2011 through June 2012) to $26,041.79 (July 2015 through June 2016). The suit also claims the Kennedys billed families for photo albums that were never produced. In March 2016, Corey delivered a four-page letter to Board President Parker filled with concerns about the company and its leadership. The complaint maintains that Corey sought a follow-up discussion with Parker but the president told him he would have to “just get along” with Kennedy. Corey’s unrest met with stronger resistance. An executive committee was formed that Thompson and plaintiffs maintain wasn’t allowed in the bylaws. On Aug. 26, 2016, that committee delivered a letter dated Aug. 3 to Corey. It changed him from a full-time employee to part-time, something the suit calls “an unauthorized constructive termination.” “Everything came to our attention when Sandra Parker, Becky Tate, Chris Burgess and Liz Kirby sent the letter to Mr. Corey in August. That was the first we knew about any of this,” Davis said. The Corey matter was the predominant topic of the
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Aug. 30 board meeting. According to the lawsuit, that meeting erupted as various motions were made and badgered down. “A vote was taken and the Aug. 3 letter was retroactively ratified over the objections of Monty and Catherine Ashbee and Marie Grip and me,” Davis said. According to the lawsuit, several directors said President Parker finally stopped proceedings with no proper adjournment. “The meeting is over. I’m having a glass of wine and going to New Orleans for dinner,” Parker allegedly declared before exiting. Corey’s original letter and its dozen complaints of mismanagement against Kennedy raised ire. A group of directors wanted to see financial records for themselves. “In September, Beverly, Monty and I were the ones who requested the financial records when all of this came to a head back in August. We wanted to look into this information closer and they didn’t want to give us the financial records even though we’re board members,” Ashbee said. Ashbee, Davis and Thull went into the Mobile Ballet offices on a quiet midweek morning and had a polite conversation with the receptionist. She was amenable. “We asked her for the Quickbooks reports for 2011 through the current year. She said ‘sure.’ Then basically, as the day went on, we called and they wouldn’t give them. Later that afternoon, Beverly and Monty went back and were finally given the records,” Ashbee said. “Catherine Ashbee and I sat down together after we received the detailed financial information that we struggled to get and went through it item by item. That was when we discovered how much money Jeff Kennedy had been making for services which before Karen Kennedy became director of development had been rendered gratis by the previous photographer,” Davis said. Other things emerged. The board decided to discontinue using a youth curriculum called Angelina Ballerina, for which $500 per month was paid. Though they stopped teaching it, Kennedy never canceled the contract and the automatic payments continued for years. “That is roughly $500 a month so that adds up to about $15,000 that’s just lost, it’s gone. I was horrified to see that,” Ashbee said. Other oddities emerged. Mobile Ballet employed a website for student uniforms, students who in years past were sent to a local business for leotards. “I discovered Mobile Ballet in the year 2015-16 paid a website $1,126.44. There’s a $122 charge for one, $165 for another, but one whopping fee was $818, all for ‘uniform samples.’ Mobile Ballet’s never done that before. Why was Mobile Ballet paying a website?” Ashbee said. The lawsuit alleged Kennedy failed to maintain a donor letter campaign with a successful track record, to make a timely grant request, to maintain a volunteer network and mail out season ticket-holder renewal requests. Donors had dropped to a third of previous levels. When Ashbee, Davis and Thull notified the rest of the board about the finances at the Oct. 17, 2016, meeting, the general response was “everyone makes mistakes.” Also at that meeting, board attorney Brooks Milling was in attendance. Directors say he’s been a fixture since. According to the complaint, Corey’s attorney wrote the board demanding resignations. Board members demanded resignations from alleged conspirators but were ignored. On Nov. 17, Ashbee and Thull presented the board with their financial findings. When the board was asked to reassess Kennedy’s leadership performance and future as director, the majority responded with a motion declining any discussion of her duties, past or future. It effectively gave her the job as long as she wanted. “I’m an MBA. As a professional mind with an educated mind, I don’t understand how you can look at hard facts, printed in black and white, and not see something is going on here. Something’s very wrong,” Ashbee said. The minority said they felt they had no choice. Legal action began. “It would be a lot easier for me, quite frankly, to focus on my family. My wife just had two very serious rounds of cancer. I’ve got two daughters in college and high school that I’m doing all I can to nurture and raise. It would be much easier for me to settle back and work my 60-70 hours a week as a contractor and not fool with any of this business,” Thull said. The suit seeks for the current board to be dissolved, the managing director to be terminated and interim replacements to be appointed. It also seeks damages against Kennedy and plaintiff’s attorney fees awarded. Thompson said a court date is in Circuit Judge Jay York’s hands now. That first appearance is likely to be a preliminary hearing on a restraining order and injunction request. “Frankly, it’s unlikely we would get to trial this month although I would think sometime in March is a more likely situation. Everybody is going to have to file an appearance because everybody will have to be lawyered up and prepare to present their side of things, so it’s hard for me to predict,” Thompson said. While not a participant in the action, Thompson said Corey would likely be a witness. “I’m deeply disconcerted with what’s been going on there, not only in the numbers involved but in the blatant conflicts-of-interest violation going on there. I look forward to having a judge sort that out. I know it will be eyeopening,” Thull said.
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What happens in Vegas BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
reputation as an entertainment mecca makes it fertile ground. Even so, he admits he’s surprised to see so many Vegas DJs/producers performing on a nightly basis, both in town and on the road. “Me being in a bedroom three years ago, I never would’ve expected it to grow as much as it has,” Wylde said. “I’m the type of guy that gets 60 or 70 emails a day from kids just trying to show me their music and stuff. Every single day added up, you’re looking at tens of thousands of producers. To be in he Azalea City’s Mardi Gras the middle of that and persevere through that and season is a time of revelry and still be noticed is overwhelming and humbling.” debauchery on the streets of As with many EDM superstars, Wylde used downtown Mobile. With this online resources to release his trapped-out remixes festive time of year in full swing, GlowRage will once again invade of popular songs such as “Royals” (Lorde) and “Wrecking Ball” (Miley Cyrus). Wylde’s clever ear Lower Dauphin Street with its worked tracks such as these and many others into electric cavalcade of beautiful madness. adrenalized electric anthems that embody the aural Established in 2012, this Pensacola-based EDM energy on which the young DJ feeds. experience has used its “Ultimate Paint Party His success could not have come at a better Experience” to gather its mass of dedicated patrons. time. As Wylde’s remixes enjoyed constant streams, GlowRage’s formula is the national EDM scene had eloquently simple. Each party already grown beyond the club features a set of mixed and and into the festival world. At mashed goodness from repufestivals such as Hangout and table DJs/producers. As the Bonnaroo, lineups experienced bass drops, GlowRage throws an unexpected changing of the on the black lights and showI’M THE TYPE OF GUY THAT guard, with EDM beginning to ers neon paint on the dancing GETS 60 OR 70 EMAILS dominate. While many festivalcrowd, which typically goers were taken by surprise, dresses in white clothing. A DAY FROM KIDS JUST Wylde has viewed the onOver the years, GlowRage has created a unique environTRYING TO SHOW ME THEIR slaught of EDM on the festival scene as just part of evolution ment for an EDM experience MUSIC AND STUFF … TO that lends to the escapist nature that has grown beyond its of these musical events. Panhandle origins. BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT “I just think it’s [EDM at For its next social call at festivals] a getaway,” Wylde the Soul Kitchen, GlowRage AND PERSEVERE THROUGH said. “I think that it’s always is bringing one of the Las VeTHAT AND STILL BE NObeen there. Festivals have gas EDM scene’s most recogbeen around for awhile now. nized names. Over the past TICED IS OVERWHELMING Basically, we’re just lookfour years, Vegas native Oscar ing at a millennial version of Wylde has used his Caked Up AND HUMBLING. Woodstock. When you look project to become a standout at Coachella and [festivals] of in his hometown, no easy task that nature, we’re adapting to since Las Vegas is home to what has already been done and going along with one of the largest and most elaborate EDM scenes the time.” in the world. A legion of electronic maestros fill Sin As far as festivals go, Wylde enjoys the social City’s Technicolor nights with the warm thump of aspect. He says music festivals are a time for him to bass echoing across sweaty, dancing crowds. not only connect with many of his friends but to also However, Wylde would stop short of using such check out other DJs and producers on the scene. terms as “oversaturation” or “competition,” given Wylde also notes that the festival set comes how camaraderie, artistic love and sheer demand with creative restrictions. EDM is a freewheeling, prevent any of those thoughts. The ever-changing spontaneous form of musical creation that explores nature of EDM allows for the scene to always be endless possibilities, while an hour-long festival set filled with new experiences. Wylde says Vegas’
Band: GlowRage, featuring Caked Up Date: Friday, Feb. 17, with doors at 9 p.m. Venue: Soul Kitchen, 219 Dauphin St., www. soulkitchenmobile.com Tickets: $18, available at Soul Kitchen, its website, Mellow Mushroom (both locations) or by calling 866-777-8932
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Photo | wearecakedup.com
CAKED UP, FEATURING DJ/PRODUCER AND LAS VEGAS NATIVE OSCAR WYLDE, COMES ARMED WITH HIP-HOP BEATS, KEEN POP SENSIBILITY AND A DEVOTED FANBASE. may end right an EDM artist is reaching the performance’s apex. “The energy [at festivals] is always really different,” Wylde said. “To me, a good night at a club is more fun than a festival.” Wylde says the the club environment is full of symbiotic aspects that fuel both the people on stage and in the audience. The crowd’s reaction to Wylde’s sounds encourages him to take them deeper into his trap. For him, a full 1,000-2,000 capacity venue is Wylde’s paradise, full of sweaty dancers moving to his every beat. The club environment allows Wylde to indulge on a variety of levels. For him, the club is an open field of creation and discovery where he can travel as far as he pleases. “In clubs, you’re able to do your own thing,” Wylde said. “When you’re playing a club and by yourself, you can show off and go crazy. When you’re at a festival, you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes or overdo it like at your own show. That’s just how I am. That’s my prerogative.” In the past, EDM has always been haunted by the theoretical “next level,” which has involved everything from EDM styles to live performances riddled with multimedia eye candy. According to Wylde, EDM’s inclusion at festivals has allowed the genre to reach the last level. EDM now exists in a fringe world bordering the mainstream. Wylde thinks EDM now will focus on exploring styles that have already been established. “I think that EDM has been taken to the next level,” Wylde said. “We need to talk about what the next stage will be. I think dubstep will have a big comeback.” Azalea City EDM fans should take advantage of Caked Up’s set at GlowRage’s Mardi Gras soirees. Opportunities to witness one of the Vegas EDM scene’s most notable artist are rare, especially when considering Wylde’s goals for 2017. The world has already tasted Caked Up; Wylde has left audiences begging for more in China, Australia, Turkey and France. He plans to use 2017 to satisfy his worldwide audience’s hunger for Caked Up’s fresh EDM sounds.
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Tons of Top
BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
Band: ZZ Top Date: Saturday, Feb. 18, with doors at 7 p.m. Venue: Saenger Theatre, 6 S. Joachim St., www.mobilesaenger.com Tickets: $66-$192, available through Ticketmaster
Photo | zztop.com | ZZ Top
rom Freddie King to Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Texas blues scene has given birth to many legendary musicians. However, one blues outfit — ZZ Top — has remained a standout for almost half a century. ZZ Top entered the Texas blues scene with its own brand of spicy Tex-Mex blues rock. With its driving blues guitar and twang nuances, the first track of its debut “ZZ Top’s First Album” set a musical standard that the band has followed ever since. Hits such as “Mexican Blackbird,” “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Waitin’ for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago” helped propel this blues trio to a permanent place in both blues and rock histories. Billy Gibbons (guitar/vocals), Dusty Hill (bass/vocals) and Frank Beard (drums) will stop in the Azalea City this Saturday on their “Tonnage Tour” in support of their latest release “Live — Greatest Hits from Around the World.” Hailed as the “first official live album” for ZZ Top, it contains 15 tracks recorded in 13 cities around the globe. ZZ Top fans can experience fan favorites as well as a guest appearance by Jeff Beck. While this album is a chance for fans to indirectly experience this renowned band live whenever they please, ZZ Top’s live show is a must for any rock or blues fan.
Dynamic duo Band: Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins Date: Thursday, Feb. 23, with doors at 8:30 p.m. Venue: The Merry Widow, 51 S. Joachim St., www.themerrywidow.net Tickets: $12 advance /$15 day of show; available at The Merry Widow and its website Most people who lived through the ‘90s saw at least one comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Their 1996 comedy “Kingpin” gave viewers a glimpse of Jonathan Richman performing in one scene set in a roadside diner. Two years later, drummer Tommy Larkins joined Richman in “There’s Something About Mary,” where the duo performed as musical narrators to the film’s comedic plot. While the inclusion of Richman may have seemed obscure to many, these two films added to his already established cult following. This singer-songwriter has a background that includes both his solo work and his time as a member of the proto-punk group The Modern Lovers. Afterward, Richman began churning out his off-beat songs. Richman is currently on the road, with Larkins laying down the beat. For those unfamiliar with this unique artist, Richman’s original sounds can shift seamlessly, from comedic to heartfelt. The crowd can also expect to hear tracks from his latest release, “Ishkode! Ishkode!”
Just say Yes Band: Yes Date: Friday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. Venue: IP Casino, Resort & Spa, 850 Bayview Ave. (Biloxi), www.ipbiloxi.com Tickets: $64-$282, available through Ticketmaster Yes emerged during the United Kingdom’s psychedelic ‘60s to become one of prog rock’s most recognized bands. After three releases, Yes found success stateside with its breakout “The Yes Album.” Next, Yes brought prog rock into the mainstream with the success of “Fragile,” with its seminal hit “Roundabout,” which still enjoys mainstream airplay around the world. Yes once again popped into the mainstream in 1983, when “Owner of a Lonely Heart” hit number one on U.S. charts. The band will travel to Cleveland, Ohio, in April to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Until then, Yes is on the road with its “album series” tour, in which fans get to hear Yes perform its “Drama” and “Tales from Topographic Oceans” albums in their entirety. The Biloxi show should be the ultimate experience for the group’s followers.
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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | February 16 - February 22
THUR. FEB 16
Bluegill— Brandon White Duo Blues Tavern— Doobious, 8:30p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— JJ Fairhope Brewing— Bluegrass Jam Felix’s— Al and Cathy Flora Bama— T-Bone Montgomery, 1p// Dualing Pianos, 4:30p/// Mark Sherrill, John Joiner, Chris Newbury & Mel Knapp, 5p//// Logan Spicer, 9:15p Lulu’s— Adam Holt, 5p Manci’s— Ross Newell, 7p McSharry’s— Lite Traveler’s, 7:30p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Phil and Foster, 8p Satori Coffee House— Will Johnson Wind Creek Casino— Michael Stacey Band, 8p
FRI. FEB 17
All Sports Bar & Billiards— DJ Markie Mark, 10p Beau Rivage— Dennis Miller, 8p Big Beach Brewing— Roger Stick, 6:30p Bluegill— Jamie Adamson, 12p// Lee Yankie Trio, 6p Blues Tavern— Johnny No, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Blind Dog Mike and the Howlers, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— 3HG, 10p Felix’s— Grits N Pieces Flora Bama— LeaAnne Creswell, 2p// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p/// David Nix, 6p//// Rhythm Intervention, 10p//// Smoky Otis Trio, 10:15p Golden Nugget— Tony Orlando, 8p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Contraflow, 9p IP Casino— Yes: In Concert, 8p Listening Room— Johnny and the Loveseats, 8p Lulu’s— Lefty Collins, 5p Main Street Cigar Lounge— Bayou Rhythm, 8p Manci’s— Chris Powell, 7:30p McSharry’s— DJ Tiger, 10p The Merry Widow— Shaheed and DJ Supreme// Andy Frasco and The U.N., 9p Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — The Memories
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Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Cary Laine Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Christina Christian Duo, 8p O’Daly’s— Gene Murrell, Tony Edwards and David White, 10p The Old Mill— Identity Crisis, 9p Soul Kitchen— Glowrage ft. Caked Up, 9:30p Wind Creek Casino— Style, 9p
SAT. FEB 18
Big Beach Brewing— The Porch Ninjas, 6:30p Bluegill— Brent Loper, 12p// Matt Neese Duo, 6p Blues Tavern— Tangerine Station, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Tim Kinsey, 6p Callaghan’s— Phil and Walon Cockeyed Charlie’s— Jordan Bramblett Felix’s— Blind Dog Mike Flora Bama— Big Muddy, 1p// J. Hawkins Trio, 2p/// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p//// Johnny Barbati Trio, 6p//// Brian Hill Band, 10p//// Davis Nix, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Contraflow, 9p Hard Rock (Live) — Foreigner, 8p Listening Room— Della Memoria Record Release party, 8p Lulu’s— Vicky Bailey Duo, 5p Manci’s— Rebecca Barry, 7:30p McSharry’s— DJ Lewis, 10p Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Brandon White Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Lefty Collins, 8p Saenger— ZZ Top, 8p Soul Kitchen— Jamestown Revival, Smooth Hound Smith, Cody Huggins, 9p Top of the Bay— The Modern Eldorados Wind Creek Casino— Style, 9p
SUN. FEB 19
Bluegill— Matt Bush, 12p// Yeah Probably, 6p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Tim Kinsey, 6p Callaghan’s— Colin Lake Felix’s— Jimmy Lumpkin Flora Bama— LeaAnne Creswell & Darrel Roberts, 12p// Perdido Brothers, 4p/// Webb Dalton Band, 2p//// Al & Cathy, 8:30p
Frog Pond— Grayson Capps, Albert Simpson, Jimmy Lumpkin, Lee Yankie, Corky Hughes, 2p Lulu’s— Greg Brown, 5p Manci’s— Eric Erdman, 6:30p McSharry’s— Trad Irish Session, 6:30p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Lee Yankie Duo, 8p
MON. FEB 20
Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Bling Dog Mike, 6p Felix’s— David Chastang Flora Bama— Ken Kambert, 12p// Caty Pace, 4p/// Petty and Pace, 8p Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Rock Bottom Duo, 8p
TUE. FEB 21
Alchemy— Mardi Gras Mingle, 5:30p Bluegill— Shea White Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Jon Maddox, 6p Butch Cassidy’s— Jerry Powell Cockeyed Charlie’s— Jordan Bramblett The Cove— Ron, Bert & Marvin, 6p Felix’s— Bobby Butchka Flora Bama— T-Bone Montgomery, 12p// Perdido Brothers, 4p/// Zachery Diedrich & Kelly McKee, 8:30p The Hot Spot — Brent Burns, 5p Lulu’s— Jimmy Lumpkin, 5p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Jimmy Lee Hannaford and Kent Karcher
WED. FEB 22
Bluegill— Les Hall Blues Tavern— Doobious, 8p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Ryan Balthrop, 6p Callaghan’s— Phil and Foster The Cove— Ron, Bert & Marvin, 6p Felix’s— Jimmy Lumpkin Duo Flora Bama— Lucinda & Michael, 11a// Neil Dover, 3p/// Rhonda Hart & Jonathon Newton, 7p Lulu’s— Mardi Grass Ball, 7p The Merry Widow— Merry Market, 6p Shipp’s Harbour— Brent Burns, 5p
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Sally Field inspires as ‘Doris’
FILMTHE REEL WORLD
BY ASIA FREY/FILM CRITIC/AFREY@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
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
neglected to watch “Hello, My Name is Doris” until its recent release on DVD, although I’ve wanted to see it since before it came briefly through theaters. Sally Field brings a strand of strength to Doris, a character that could have been pathetic. Instead, she is inspiring. Doris has spent her life caring for her mother. When her mother passes away, it seems she might retreat further into herself and become even more of a hoarder than before. When a dashing, friendly young man (Max Greenfield) comes to work at her office, she is smitten. The twist is that she inadvertently fits in with John and his friends because the way she dresses and the things she loves unironically (knitting, weird glasses, funky sweaters) are also popular among the hip youngsters and young hipsters in Brooklyn. She becomes a sort of mascot, and we’re in suspense waiting for someone to take advantage of Doris’s naiveté. In the hands of writer/director Michael Showalter, and of course, Sally Field, Doris maintains an element of dignity, even when she’s dressed in a neon
outfit to attend an electronica show in order to run into John. On one hand she is a mousy woman with cat-eye glasses and a big fake ponytail, but on the other hand, she is going after what she wants, even though her pursuit of a handsome guy several decades her junior is unlikely to end well for her. Her bravery in the face of absurdity is quite touching. It also walks the line between positive thinking and delusional thinking. Showalter, familiar from the ‘90s comedy show “The State” and “Wet, Hot American Summer,” is on a dramedy streak with this film and his television series “Search Party,” which is more ambivalent and less emotional than “Hello, My Name is Doris” but both projects have interesting female leads and I highly recommend them. (“Search Party” is a millennial Nancy Drew mystery set in New York City, and Alia Shawkat is surprisingly complicated as a young woman searching for a missing girl, and also searching for meaning in her own life.) “Hello, My Name is Doris” features several comic flights of fancy, but is
ultimately realistic in terms of a happy ending. That the growth shown by Doris is believable makes it all the more uplifting. The supporting cast, especially Tyne Daly as Doris’ longtime best friend, is great, and it’s gratifying to see their many well-written scenes together, full of details that fill in their time together. Meanwhile, Doris’ brother (Stephen Root) and his nasty wife (Wendi McLendon-Covey) unearth years of pain in Doris’ past when they try to get her to throw away all the stuff she and their mother filled up their house with over the years. Her devotion to her mother may have seemed selfless, but several heartbreaking revelations inform us that it was not in Doris’ own best self interest. Doris is an extraordinary character who grabs the reins of her life after a lifetime of sacrifice for others. While her actions are rather unusual, her feelings are recognizable, and anyone can identify with her bid to shake up things. Many a shrinking violet will find inspiration in the film, and her successes will make you cheer. “Hello, My Name is Doris” is currently available to rent.
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 | Roadside Attractions / Universal Pictures
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: Sally Field and Max Greenfield in “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” the story of an ambitious 60-something who pursues her younger coworker. In the Matt Damon fantasy “The Great Wall,” European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of The Great Wall. NEW IN THEATERS THE GREAT WALL
When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within The Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of our world. All listed multiplex theaters.
On the last day of the year, mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is trying his best to keep it together, but things go from bad to worse when he accidentally crosses
his much tougher and deeply feared colleague, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), who challenges Campbell to an oldfashioned throwdown after school. All listed multiplex theaters.
A CURE FOR WELLNESS
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. All listed multiplex theaters.
NOW PLAYING THE SPACE BE-
TWEEN US All listed multiplex THE LEGO BATMAN theaters. MOVIE MOONLIGHT All listed multiplex Carmike Wharf 15 theaters. HIDDEN FIGURES FIFTY SHADES All listed multiplex DARKER All listed multiplex theaters. theaters. FENCES JOHN WICK: Regal Mobile Stadium CHAPTER 2 18, Carmike Wynnsong 16 All listed multiplex LA LA LAND theaters. All listed multiplex JACKIE theaters. Crescent Theater MANCHESTER BY NENU LOCAL Regal Mobile Stadium 18 THE SEA Carmike Wharf, Carmike THE COMEDIAN Jubilee Square 12, Regal All listed multiplex Mobile Stadium 18 theaters. LION GOLD All listed multiplex theaters. Carmike Jubilee Square 12, Carmike Wharf 15 RINGS THE FOUNDER All listed multiplex Carmike Jubilee Square theaters. 12, Carmike Wharf 15,
Cobb Pinnacle 14 RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Carmike Wynnsong 16 A DOG’S PURPOSE All listed multiplex theaters. SPLIT All listed multiplex theaters. SLEEPLESS Regal Mobile Stadium 18 PATRIOTS DAY Cobb Pinnacle 14 MONSTER TRUCKS Carmike Wynnsong 16 SING All listed multiplex theaters. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY All listed multiplex theaters. MOANA Regal Mobile Stadium 19
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS FEBRUARY 16, 2017 - FEBRUARY 22, 2017
Navy Tour Mobile Navy Week is Feb. 22-28 and includes a port visit from USS Mason, Navy Band Southeast performances, the Navy parachute team, ordnance disposal team, divers and officers. Visit www.facebook.com/ NavyBandSoutheast.
Orchid Show & Sale Bellingrath Gardens & Home will host the Mobile Area Orchid Society’s 40th annual Orchid Show & Sale from Friday, Feb. 17, through Sunday, Feb. 19. Call 251209-1008. Seafood Festival and Car Show 25th annual Orange Beach Seafood Festival and Car Show is Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Main Street at The Wharf. www.obparksandrec.com. 45th anniversary luncheon Please join Via for a communitywide celebration in recognition of almost a half century of serving seniors and the community. Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 11:30 a.m. 1717 Dauphin St. Call 251-4705229. Merry Market Free monthly arts and craft market at The Merry Widow. Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6 p.m. info@ themerrywidow.net. Rabies clinic The Mobile County Health Department provides low-cost rabies shots for cats, dogs and ferrets during a weekend clinic. This Saturday’s clinic is at St. Elmo Feed & Seed, 9001 U.S. Highway 90 West. Cost of the rabies vaccine is $8. Call 251-690-8823. Microchip and rabies clinic
University Animal Hospital will offer microchips for $25 and $10 rabies shots on Saturday, Feb. 18, 12:30-2:30 p.m. University Animal Clinic is located at 509 Georgia Drive. Spotlight: A Gulf Coast Talent Showcase Presented by Distinguished Young Women, this is an audition for a talent showcase for grades 1-12 to win money for your school. Visit gulfcoastspotlight.com to enter. Winter Wednesday at Bellingrath Each week through Feb. 22 in the Magnolia Room. “Ancient Forests of Alabama” with Brian Axsmith, Ph.D., will be held Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 a.m. Call 251973-2217, ext. 111, to register or email firstname.lastname@example.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 251348-3542. 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 www.toastmasters.org for more information.
“Night of the Classical Masters” An evening of classical music, Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Dauphin
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Way United Methodist Church. Admission is free; concert begins at 7 p.m. at Dauphin Way UMC, located at 1507 Dauphin St., Mobile. Winter Band Concert USA’s Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble annual Winter Band Concert is Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. Call 251460-7116 or 251-460-6136. Faculty flute recital Travis Jones will present a faculty flute recital titled “F is for Flute” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center. General admission is $8. Call 251-460-7116 or 251-4606136.
“Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure” Now on display at GulfQuest Museum is the highly interactive exhibit “Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure.” Features more than 500 authentic artifacts recovered from deep ocean shipwrecks. Visit www. gulfquest.org. “Faces of Africa” The History Museum of Mobile’s exhibit, “Faces of Africa: a Mystical View of Tribal Heritage,” runs through Monday, July 31. Call 251208-7420. “Drugs: Costs and Consequences” The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration team up to present a powerful interactive exhibit of the effects of drugs on individuals and society. Through August. Visit exploreum.com.
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 251-9291471. Little Discoveries “Outside the Box,” 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 251-208-6893 or email jholland@ exploreum.com. 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.
SPORTING EVENTS/ACTIVITIES Sea Turtle Half & Sweetheart 5K Saturday, Feb. 18, 7:30 a.m. The Hangout in Gulf Shores. www. lafleetfeet.com. Battleship Rugby Battleship Rugby will play Montgomery on the front lawn of USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. Admission is $2 per car. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Archery tournament The Hoyt Archery Pro/Am is set for Feb. 16-19 at Graham Creek Nature Preserve, 23460 Wolf Bay Drive, Foley. For more information, visit www.FoleySportsTourism. com. Bridge lessons
The Mobile Bridge Center offers free bridge lessons each Tuesday at 6 p.m. 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. Fitness 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 communityactivitiesprogram.com. 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 communityactivitiesprogram.com. 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 the second and fourth Tuesday of every month; 7-9:30 p.m. at Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center, 1717 Dauphin St. Email email@example.com, call 251-623-9183 or visit www. azaleaballroomdanceclub.com. Ballroom dance The Moonlight Chasse Ballroom Dance Society hosts dances the first and third Monday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m., at Hot Wheels Skating Rink, Daphne. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 MARDI GRAS SCHEDULE Courtesy of The Mobile Mask • www.themobilemask.com
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 • 6:30 p.m. - Order of Polka Dots (Mobile, Route A)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17
• 6:30 p.m. - Order of Inca (Mobile, Route A) • 6:45 p.m. - Apollo’s Mystic Ladies (Daphne)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 • 10 a.m. - Hickory Ridge Kids Krewe <kids> (Timberly Circle) • 2 p.m. - Mobile Mystics, Mobile Mystical Revelers, Mobile Mystical Friends (Mobile, Route A) • 6:30 p.m. - Maids of Mirth, Butterfly Maidens, Krewe of Marry Mates (Mobile, Route A) • 6:45 p.m. - Knights of Ecor Rouge (Fairhope)
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19 • 2 p.m. - Mystics of Children <kids> (Rosswood Drive) • 6:30 p.m. - Neptune’s Daughters, OOI (Mobile, Route A)
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20 (PRESIDENTS DAY) • 6:30 p.m. - Order of Venus, Order of Many Faces (Mobile, Route A)
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 • 6:30 p.m. - Order of LaShe’s (Mobile, Route A)
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23
• 10 a.m. - Order of Impalas
<kids> (St. Ignatius Catholic School) • 6:30 p.m. - Mystic Stripers Society (Mobile, Route A)
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24
• 6:30 p.m. - Crewe of Columbus (Mobile, Route A) • 6:30 p.m. - Mystical Order of Mirams (Orange Beach) • 6:45 p.m. - Maids of Jubilee (Fairhope)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25 • 11 a.m. - Foley parade (Foley) • 11 a.m. - Krewe of Kids <kids>, Krewe of Goats, Prichard Carnival Association (Krewe of Goats Prichard route) • Noon - Floral Parade, Knights of Mobile, Mobile Mystical Ladies, Order of Angels (Mobile, Route A) • Noon - Mystic Revelers (Bay Minette) • 2 p.m. - Krewe of Mullet Mates (Mullet Point) • 5:30 p.m. - Mystics of Pleasure (Orange Beach) • 6 p.m. - Mystics of Time (Mobile, Route A) • 6:45 p.m. - Shadow Barons (Daphne)
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 (JOE CAIN DAY AND OSCARS) • 2 p.m. - King Elexis I Motorcade (Mobile, Route E) • 2:30 p.m. - Loyal Order of
the Firetruck (Daphne) • 2:30 p.m. - Joe Cain Procession (Mobile, Route A) • 5 p.m. - Le Krewe de Bienville (Mobile, Route A)
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (LUNDI GRAS)
• Noon - King Felix III, Floral parade (Mobile, Route A) • 1 p.m. - Prichard Mardi Gras Association Parade (Prichard) • 3 p.m. - MLK Business and Civic Organization, MLK Monday Mystics, Northside Merchants (Mobile, Route D) • 6:45 p.m. - Order of Mystic Magnolias (Fairhope) • 7 p.m. - Infant Mystics, Order of Doves (Mobile, Route F)
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 (FAT TUESDAY)
• 10 a.m. - Gulf Shores Parade (Gulf Shores) • 10:30 a.m. - Order of Athena (Mobile, Route A) • 12:30 p.m. - Knights of Revelry, King Felix III, Comic Cowboys (Mobile, Route A) • 2 p.m. - Orange Beach Parade (Orange Beach) • 2 p.m. - MAMGA Mammoth Parade (Mobile, Route B) • 6 p.m. - Order of Myths (Mobile, Route C)
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MEDIA MEDIA FRENZY
Lagniappe joins Alabama Press Association BY ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
ust last week, Lagniappe was officially voted in as a member of the Alabama Press Association, joining more than 100 other newspapers serving readers statewide. Although Lagniappe has been eligible for an associate membership, we wanted to wait to join APA once we had been able to obtain the publications class postal permit required by the organization for full membership. One of the benefits of membership in APA hopefully will be working with its leadership to point out erosions of press freedoms within the state and trying to get them rectified.
Weld looks to crowdfund
THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE FIRST LADIES BY SAM TRABUCCO / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 16-ounce container 6 Material commonly used during cathedral construction 14 Primitive timer 19 Pinnacles 20 Sidney Poitier’s 1980 autobiography 21 Moretz of “Carrie” 22 Performs, biblically 23 When soap operas first flourished 24 They’re measured by pluviometers 25 Geneticist’s study 26 Rage 28 Sheena who sang “U Got the Look” with Prince 29 “No worries” 30 It helps you achieve balance 33 Highlighter shades 34 %: Abbr. 35 Reply to “No offense” 37 Aid after a computer crash, say 40 Get 41 Mark 44 Mosaic pieces 46 Question after a photo finish 47 “How’s it hangin’?” 48 Click “Going” on a Facebook event, e.g. 49 2013 best seller by Sheryl Sandberg 53 Pennsylvania vacation locale, with “the” 56 Pokey’s pal on TV 57 Spanish she-bear 60 Running a bit behind 61 Part of a stock exchange? 64 Overcome a certain career barrier … or what the answers to the starred clues do? 68 Heavy weight 69 “Same with me” 70 Move hastily 71 Also-ran in 2000 72 Gray squirrel, in slang 74 Send elsewhere for the night, as a roommate, in modern lingo 75 Easy-to-carry telescope 79 Cubs’ home 80 Less safe for a plane landing, in a way 84 Change from black-andwhite 86 Classical musician with a Presidential Medal of Freedom 87 Pub vessel 91 Permeates 92 Behind 94 Fix, as an election 95 Cab destination?
100 Geometric toy whose sides change depending on how it’s folded 101 Drop a bit 103 Arthurian princess 105 Poetic preposition 106 Scrape (out) 107 Go online 108 Remove fat from, as a soup 110 Caramel candies from Hershey 112 Opposite of standing 113 Getting ready to swing 114 Lake catch 115 White who is the oldest person ever to host “S.N.L.” 116 Participate in deciding 117 Took care of DOWN 1 Superfluous part of an essay 2 *One who 64-Acrossed for Supreme Court justices … 3 Emphatic refusal 4 After deductions 5 Gift-shop item 6 Hurriedly showed oneself out? 7 “J to ____ L-O!” (Jennifer Lopez album) 8 *… for astronauts 9 Like over four billion people 10 “Victory is yours” 11 Mexican president Enrique Peña ____
12 Zac of “Neighbors” 13 Professors answer to them 14 Reading material for a Hollywood agent 15 *… for British prime ministers 16 Most-wanted invitees 17 Texting while driving, e.g. 18 Anchor’s place 27 Enter, as data 31 Cousin of “OMG!” 32 Guido who painted “Massacre of the Innocents” 36 Today 37 “Hmm, guess so” 38 Loo, for short 39 ____ rally 42 What boats shouldn’t do 43 ____ Gay (W.W. II plane) 44 Best Foreign Film of 2005, set in South Africa 45 Kennedy who was the mother of Maria Shriver 46 Aid for the handy, informally 49 Letters of “pride” 50 Alternative to a pound 51 Emphatic agreement 52 Org. with a travel ban? 54 Bills, e.g. 55 Hit record? 57 “Yi-i-ikes!” 58 Pacific 59 Ending with teen 61 Certain conservative skirt 62 Hillary Clinton in 1969 or
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Bill Clinton in 1970 63 Monster 65 Fictional spacecraft created by the Time Lords 66 Like lettuce 67 West Coast air hub 73 Overly 74 Two-____ (smallish car) 75 ____-fi 76 Yapping dog, for short 77 *… for secretaries of state 78 “Don’t be so dumb!” 81 Rip off, informally 82 Clown (around) 83 [Yawn] 85 Rule by governing board 87 Altar constellation 88 *… for Best Directors 89 Ranger’s station 90 Che Guevara’s real first name 93 Puts forward, as effort 95 Factor in area calculation 96 “____ little silhouetto of a man” (Queen lyric) 97 Desert NE of the Sinai Peninsula 98 *… for Nobel laureates 99 1941 chart-topper “Maria ____” 101 Slice for a hearty appetite 102 Miner’s strike 104 Catches off base 109 Apologia pro vita ____ 111 60 minuti
ANSWERS ON PAGE 40
Birmingham’s weekly newspaper, Weld, has announced a new initiative aimed at helping to keep the newspaper free to its readers as well as hopefully putting more journalists to work covering the Magic City. Weld started roughly five and a half years ago, and much like Lagniappe has seen its role grow from alternative weekly to mainstream news source as The Birmingham News cut publication to just three days a week. But like almost any newspaper these days, attracting the advertising necessary to support coverage of a city and its region hasn’t been easy. So, recently the publication, now formally rebranded as Weld: Birmingham’s Newspaper, announced a crowdfunding effort called Fourth Check that management hopes will provide the revenue needed to support its public service journalism. “A core tenet of Weld’s mission is to keep our newspaper free of monetary barriers,” Weld’s co-owner Heather Milam Nikolich said in a press release. “It is very important that our readers have access to the news that affects them. The Fourth Check provides the opportunity for the
community to contribute to their local newspaper, allowing Weld to hire more journalists, print more newspapers and expand distribution.” The notion of crowdfunding newspapers is not a new or unpopular one in today’s journalistic landscape. Many free distribution newspapers rely on some form of crowdfunding to pay at least part of the bills. Lagniappe’s own Friends With Benefits campaign, started a few years ago, was a crowdfunding effort of sorts. It gave way to offering actual subscriptions and mailed home delivery as a way for readers to help support our local journalism, as well as offering them a level of convenience. The success of crowdfunding varies from city to city and publication to publication. Some publications, such as New Orleans’ digital investigative newspaper The Lens, have found it tough sledding despite producing high-quality work. Regardless of whether it is through crowdfunding or subscriptions, as cities have been left in the lurch by conglomerate-owned dailies being folded up or drastically scaled back, the former alternative newspapers trying to fill the news void are increasingly looking to readers who value having a quality newspaper to help share the cost of producing one.
The Grounds announced a partnership with iHeartRadio Gulf Coast for the 63rd annual Greater Gulf State Fair this fall that is intended to support local heroes. The partnership, “Heroes Among Us,” is aimed at recognizing local heroes. It dovetails with the fair’s overall theme, “Calling All Heroes: From Everyday Heroes to Superheroes.” The fair will take place at The Grounds Oct. 27 through Nov. 5.
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SPORTS UPON FURTHER REVIEW
College baseball continues strong tradition in 2017 BY J. MARK BRYANT/SPORTS WRITER/SPORTS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM/TWITTER @GOULAGUY
in left field while freshman Justin Collier of Mobile starts in right field. Returning to the mound with Bahlinger is senior Dylan Kiene of Mobile. Other key hurlers are Justin Whitsett and Jordan Fontenelle. Coming out of the bullpen will be William North, Steven Saucier and Michael Romano. University of South Alabama — Head coach Mark Calvi led the Jaguars to the school’s 16th Sun Belt title and 26th NCAA Regional appearance in 2016. The club closed the season ranked 26th in the final Collegiate Baseball poll. USA went 42-22 overall and 21-9 in Sun Belt Conference play while advancing to the NCAA Tallahassee Regional final. The Jags also broke the school’s single-season fielding percentage record for the second straight season with a league-leading mark of .979, which ranked in the top 10 nationally. For these efforts, Calvi was named the 2016 Large College Division-Division I Coach of the Year by the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association. He received the same honor in 2013. Some USA players also were recognized. Shortstop Drew LaBounty and outfielder Travis Swaggerty were named to the preseason all-Sun Belt Conference team. LaBounty earned first-team all-SBC honors last season after leading the conference and finishing sixth nationally in walks (59). He hit safely in 42 of 63 games played, and batted .291 with five doubles and one triple. Swaggerty earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American after finishing second in the conference in walks (42), stolen bases (20) and steal attempts (31). He led USA with a .303 batting average. In 22 intrasquad games this fall, Swaggerty paced the team in batting average (.348), hits (24), doubles (8) and on-base percentage (.438), and ranked second on the squad with seven stolen bases. Carter Perkins, Brendan Donovan and Jared Barnes tied for second on the team, each with 23 hits. Colton Thomas finished as the team leader with eight stolen bases. On the mound, right-hander Randy Bell struck out nine batters without issuing a walk and did not allow a run in 11 innings pitched. Right-hander Avery Geyer ranked second on the staff in ERA (1.12), and recorded nine strikeouts against two walks in eight innings pitched. Right-handers Harrison Spruiell and Alex Adair shared the team lead with 20 strikeouts each. South Alabama was picked to finish second in the SBC East Division behind defending national champion Coastal Carolina. The Jags will open the season Friday when USA
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Photo | Provided
ollege baseball has been played in Mobile since at least 1889, when the students at Spring Hill College first stepped onto the diamond at Stan Galle Field. Now, more than a century later, the sport remains just as popular. Along with the Badgers, the Jaguars at the University of South Alabama and the Rams at the University of Mobile are looking for successful campaigns. Here is a glance at their rosters: Spring Hill College — Head coach Frank Sims, who first took the helm at SHC in 1985 and has since led the Badgers to 822 wins, had a busy off-season. During the summer, the veteran mentor was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Sims has also been overseeing the team’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. Since joining the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Badgers have a 34-3 league record. Now in the final campaign before being able to compete for postseason berths, Sims is excited about his latest team. “I can’t say we have that one player this year who stands above the rest,” Sims said, “but this year we have more consistent players who all play at a high level, and that will make us a better team in the long run.” Among the 19 veterans on the roster are 11 seniors and 13 lettermen. “This is possibly the most experienced team we’ve had in years,” Sims said. “We not only have depth this year, but we also have experience in reserve and that is a real benefit in the late innings and as the season goes along.” Spring Hill had three players named to the SIAC preseason squad. On the first-team unit is senior Michael Druhan of Mobile. On the second-team roster are fellow seniors Ulysses Fluellen and Christian Bahlinger. Last season, Druhan had a .388 batting average, 40 runs scored, 14 doubles and 11 home runs. He is moving from right field to first base. “Michael is really a first baseman,” Sims said. “This move is where he needs to be for his future and to make us better.” Fluellen hit .331 with 36 runs scored, 14 doubles, four triples and eight home runs. Bahlinger had a 1.71 earned run average over 63.1 innings and a 7-2 record. Completing the infield are Keaton Smith at second, Maverick LaTour at shortstop and transfer graduate student Brandon Harigel at third base. Brennan Fontenot moves to catcher following the graduation of Alex Jones, the SIAC Player of the Year. Fluellen is set in center field. Conner Harrison will play
SPRING HILL COLLEGE’S MICHAEL DRUHAN, A MOBILE NATIVE, IS A PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE PICK. hosts Eastern Illinois at 6:30 p.m. at Stanky Field. University of Mobile — Mike Jacobs is starting his 28th season as the Rams’ head coach. Last year, UM finished 33-22 overall and 17-10 in Southern States Athletic Conference games. In the league’s preseason poll, the Rams are picked to finish fourth behind defending champion Faulkner. One of the keys this season will be the right arm of junior pitcher Garrett Waters of Theodore. Waters was a first-team all-conference pick in 2016 after tying the school record for 10 complete games, while his 111 innings pitched was the second most in a season and his 11 wins the fourth best. In his first start of 2017, he tossed the fifth no-hitter in UM history as he struck out six during a 12-0 win over Midway. Another key veteran is senior first baseman Chris Hopballe, whose 8-RBI effort against Brewton-Parker last year was second-most all-time at UM while his 57 RBIs was 10th best for a season. He was second-team all-SSAC. Third baseman Logan Palmer made conference all-freshman squad after tying the school mark with three doubles versus Blue Mountain. Junior second baseman Norberto Torres earned a berth on the league’s Gold Glove roster. Others coming off good seasons are senior outfielder Mason Schoettlin (.316, 6 homers) and senior pitcher Christian Breath (4-3 record, 5.40 ERA). In the Rams’ 4-0 start this year, they are hitting .314 as a team and have outscored their opponents 33-9.
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Thought about growing berries in your backyard? BY JUDY STOUT, PH.D./CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Q: With the increasing emphasis on the roles
New plantings should be in a hole no deeper than the soil depth of the pot you’re taking them of fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet, I out of and twice as wide as the pot. Space plants am interested in the possibility of growing berry at least 6-8 feet apart for a hedge effect or 10plants in my yard. Are there some that would do 12 feet apart to be able to walk around mature well in the Mobile area? plants. Fill the planting hole with water and allow it to drain. Gently remove the plant from the pot and carefully spread the roots out to fit in Absolutely! There are both blueberries and the hole. blackberries derived from native varieties that Mix organic material such as moist peat moss are well-suited to our Mediterranean climate, fit well into yard landscapes, are relatively pest- and or shredded pine bark into soil from the hole before covering the roots and refilling the hole. disease-resistant and, with moderate care and Berries are shallow rooted and sensitive to dry management, will yield plenty of fruit for the soils and over fertilization, so add no suppleaverage family. Both are delicious as fresh berments to new plants the first season and water ries, in jellies and preserves, for baking, and in in thoroughly without leaving standing water. smoothies and other health drinks. Remove damaged and dead branches and any Look for a site in your yard with full sun and good air circulation for best growth and to avoid that droop to the ground. In the second year, fertilize your blueberdiseases. If there is a slope, plantings should be ries with ammonium sulfate or any fertilizer for at the upper portion of the slope in well-drained acid-loving plants such as azaleas and camellias. soils. Avoid soils with heavy clay. If you do not know your soil pH, take soil samples and have a Make sure it is a complete fertilizer containing micronutrients. An organic fertilizer such as test performed for both blueberries and blackcottonseed meal can also be used. Do not use a berries by a reputable soil lab. We recommend Auburn University but there are private labs that nitrate fertilizer. In subsequent years, fertilizer can be applied when new growth begins (Marchdo the same thing. Avoid areas where berry plants would have to April) and again during fruiting in June. Use about 1/8 cup of fertilizer per plant for compete with tree roots for water and nutrients. each year of growth, not to exceed 1/2 cup per Remove competing grass from around the berry application. Spread fertilizer lightly to cover plant for about 3-5 feet. Be sure a water source is nearby because during dry periods both black- the entire soil surface under the branches; avoid using fertilizer spikes as they will burn plant berries and blueberries need to receive at least 1 inch of water a week and 2 inches when fruiting. roots. After about five years of growth, several older, woody stems can be removed each year to Rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei) encourage new, fruiting stems and retain good air perform best in our area. Bushes may live up circulation and light penetration. Mulch regularly to 20 years, reach 5-8 feet across and, unless with about 4-6 inches of pine chips, pine straw topped occasionally, may become 15 feet tall. Blueberries require soil conditions similar to aza- or oak leaves. Blackberries require a different soil environleas and camellias, with a slightly acidic pH of ment — pH 6.0-7.0 (should be located away 4.5-5.2 and good organic content. Soil pH can be from acid-loving plants) — and sandy loams adjusted with garden sulfur or aluminum sulfate, with some coarse sands. They are perennial based upon your soil test recommendations. plants but produce stems on a two-year cycle To produce a good fruit crop, rabbiteye (biennially). Do not prune in the first year of blueberries need cross pollination between two planting. The canes or stems that will produce different varieties. Varieties bloom and ripen at flowers and fruit (floricanes) first appear at the different times so when choosing plants, make end of fruiting in the previous year (in year one sure they have similar blooming and fruiting pe- called primocanes). riods. Good pairings for south Alabama include After fruit harvest (mid-July) all floricanes Climax, Austin and Premier for early berries should be removed. Newly sprouted primocanes in late May to early June, and Brightwell and can be top pruned in February or March, before Tifblue for ripe fruit in late June-July. flower buds form. Prune to about 3-4 feet. Lat-
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eral branches will form at the point of pruning. Primocanes may lose their leaves in the winter but do not fret, they will leaf out again in early spring. In their second year, primocanes become flowering and fruiting floricanes. Berries usually ripen between late June and early August. In the home landscape, thornless, erect to semi-erect varieties of blackberries reduce the possibility of injury to people and pets, and require little or no trellising support. Good varieties for our area include Navaho, Arapaho and Apache. They are self-pollinating and do not require more than one variety to fruit well. Planting instructions for blackberries are similar to those for blueberries. Allow about 4 feet between plants. Do not bury or damage the “crown” area where the stems come out of the ground. Keep well mulched and watered. After the first year, fertilize with a complete fertilizer (10-10-10 or 13-13-13) with micronutrients. Make three applications of about 1/4 cup in March, May and July. Keep fertilizer away from the crown and any very shallow roots. NOTE: Good varieties of blueberries and blackberries can be purchased at the Mobile Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale, March 16-19, or at local nurseries.
YOU ARE INVITED TO THESE UPCOMING GARDENING EVENTS • 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 • What: Mobile Master Gardeners Spring Seminar • When: Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile • Cost: $30 non-master gardener, $20 master gardeners; includes box lunch, drinks and more • Topics: Gardening for Serenity: Outdoor Spaces that Rejuvenate, Heal and Ground, Jenny Peterson; Trialed and Trusted Plants, Distinctly Southern, Robert “Buddy” Lee, inventor of Encore Azaleas Reservation Deadline Feb. 25; call 251-5748445 for more information.
Let the good times roll! BY BOOZIE BEER NUES/SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
t’s the most wonderful time of year! It’s officially Mardi Gras in the Port City. The first parade hit the streets and there’s nothing stopping the good times from rolling now. Well, there are a few things that could stop us, but hopefully Mother Nature plays nice and everyone behaves themselves. Well, OK, maybe not the behaving yourself part, because what fun would that be? So grab those party pants and get ready for the boom boom. This week’s gossip will have you craving more beads, beer and Boozie!
Not so sneaky …
Speaking of Mardi Gras fun and misbehaving, this past Friday night Boozie and friends went downtown to catch a parade. Being good parade goers, we made sure we had plenty of beer to last the whole parade. Well, a few kids (maybe 13-year-olds, I’m really bad with judging ages) happened to notice we had said stash of suds … and those knuckleheads started scheming to steal it! I noticed their plan right off the bat, and also realized this is how I always got caught — kids aren’t as sneaky as they think they are. The boys emptied their drink cups and put them right next to the supply of beer, then made a few laps. Once the parade started, they couldn’t resist catching throws, but when the bands came by they put their plan into action. After asking each other which beer and who, they decided the tallest would be best for the job. He got close
enough to nab a beer and make off with it, but then dad shows up to stand in the back of the crowd with them. Not this time, boys! Even if they had the chance to take one, Boozie would have chased them down. No one is taking my beer and getting away with it, especially not a 13-year-old! I told y’all, I am always watching.
It’s going to be a long Mardi Gras if my spies are going to be this slow getting me info. Anyway, here is the recap of the Order of Osiris ball last weekend. But at least this scoop was worth the wait. Sounds like another fab Osiris! Once again Osiris took the stage at the Convention Center and this year they did not disappoint. Queen Kimmie and Queen Barclay reigned over the “Treasures of the Caribbean Ball” and the costumes were breathtaking. The order’s three emblems — Osiris, Isis and Horus — came out after the Queens and then it was time for the costumes. The ball opened with Carnival Fantasy, complete with a lipsynching captain, a bartender, a cruise director and a glamorous showgirl. Once the crowds started catching jello shots I knew we were in for a fun night of frolic! From the Carnival cruise to a mermaid in a clamshell, to two Bermuda Triangle pilots standing in front of the most glittered prop I have ever seen, the show kept on and on being amazing. The Caribbean jerk chicken was one of my very favorite foods of the
evening. If I had to put my glitter-covered finger on one particular costume that was exquisite, though, I would have to say my hat would be tipped toward the Bird of Paradise. The tableau was topped off by the crowning of Queen Angela and Queen Tracy, who made a stunning first walk around the area in what appeared to be a Greek chariot! Congratulations to Osiris for another job well done and congratulations to Queen Angela and Queen Tracy who I know will have a beautiful reign! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us for next year!
Ball of Joy
If you are going to attend one Mardi Gras ball, I would suggest Joy of Life Mardi Gras Ball benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My spy who attended the ball this past Saturday night said it is always so much fun, and it’s also great knowing you are helping others. Not to mention the food is good, too. The theme of this year’s ball was “There’s No Place Like St. Jude.” Going with the theme, Playhouse in the Park’s “Wizard of Oz” characters made a special appearance. What makes the Joy of Life ball so special — besides the fact that they are raising money for St. Jude — is that kids are in attendance and St. Jude patients are crowned king and queen of the ball. This year Lindsey Crawley was crowned queen and Jacob Simons was crowned king. That’s not all: Artist Melissa Munger was there doing a live painting that was later auctioned off. The couple that bought the painting got to be painted in too! Boozie loves a good, heartwarming Mardi Gras ball. (We all know how most balls go …)
With all the Mardi Gras buzz going on, there were also reports of Dolph Lundgren being spotted downtown! Dolph is best known for playing Ivan Drago in the 1985 film “Rocky IV.” It has been speculated he’s in town filming the movie “Black Water.” With a release date of sometime in 2018, Boozie is willing to bet this won’t be the last we see of him! Just please stay away from Apollo Creed, Dolph. That’s all we ask. Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous or just some plain ol’ beer lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!
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LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 | email@example.com 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
FORECLOSURE NOTICE Default having been made in the payment of the indebtedness described in and secured by that certain Vendor’s Lien Deed executed by CODEN VILLAGE, LLC to RONALD P. SPURLOCK and BEATRICE M. SPURLOCK, on the 4th day of June, 2007, and recorded in Real Property Book 6196, Page 1518, (all recording records refer to the records in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Mobile County, Alabama), and the undersigned having declared indebtedness due and payable in accordance with the terms and conditions of said Deed, notice is hereby given that the undersigned will sell at public outcry for cash to the highest bidder, during the legal hours of sale between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the 6th day of March, 2017 at the Mobile County Courthouse, 205 Government Street, Mobile Government Plaza, Mobile, Alabama, the following described real property in the County of Mobile, State of Alabama which property address for informational purpose only is Hemley Road, Coden, Alabama, being the same property described in the above-referred to Deed: Lot 22 & 23, Historical Coden Village, according to the plat thereof recorded in Map Book 1111, Page 14, of the records in the Office of the Judge of Probate, Mobile County, Alabama. EXCEPTING THEREFROM, such oil, gas and other minerals in, on and under said real property, together with all rights in connection therewith as have previously been reserved by or conveyed to others; it being the intention of the Grantor to convey to the Grantees only the interest Grantor owns therein, if any; THIS CONVEYANCE MADE SUBJECT TO: 1. Restrictive covenants as contained in instrument by Coden Village, LLC, dated April 18, 2007 and recorded in book 6169, Page 344; 2. Easement and/or building line as shown on recorded map. 3. Rights of the United States, State of Alabama or other parties in and to the bed, shore and waters of Bayou Como. This property will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis, subject to any easements, encumbrances, and exceptions reflected in the mortgage and those contained in the records of the office of the judge of probate of the county where the above-described property is situated. This property will be sold without warranty or recourse, expressed or implied as to title, use and/or enjoyment and will be sold subject to the right of redemption of all parties entitled thereto. Alabama law gives some persons who have an interest in property the right to redeem the property under certain circumstances. Programs may also exist that help persons avoid or delay the foreclosure process. An attorney should be consulted to help understand these rights and programs as a part of the foreclosure process. This sale is made for the purpose of paying the indebtedness secured by said mortgage, as well as the expenses of foreclosure, including reasonable attorney’s fee. The Holder reserves the right to bid for and purchase the real estate and to credit its purchase price against the expenses of sale and the indebtedness secured by the real estate. CODEN VILLAGE, LLC
Holder of said Vendor’s Lien J. Michael Druhan, Esq. Druhan & Tyler, LLC Attorney for Holder 1106 Dauphin Street Mobile, Alabama 36604 251-202-5529 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, March 2, 2017
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
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
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
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
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of JIAN AN CHEN Case No. 2017-0096 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 30th 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. TIE ZHENG as Administrator of the estate of JIAN AN CHEN, deceased Attorney of Record: ROBERT H MUDD JR, Esq. Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 23, 2017
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of CAROL ANN SIMMONS, Deceased Case No. 2017-0160 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 2nd day of February, 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. CLAUDE R. SIMMONS as Executor under the last will and testament of CAROL ANN SIMMONS, Deceased Attorney of Record: IRVIN GRODSKY Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 23, 2017
ADVERTISMENT FOR BIDS ADVERTISMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITYELECTRICAL 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.,
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N., AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) Lagniappe HD Feb. 2, 9, 16, 2017
ADVERTISMENT FOR BIDS AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc., based in Mobile, Alabama, is issuing a request for proposals for the provision of food services for its two psychiatric hospitals, child and adolescent residential programs and day school program. The selected vendor must be able to meet and follow Child Nutrition Program and Joint Commission standards. The RFP is available for review, contact Noel Andrews, AltaPointe Director Patient Accounting, at (251) 660-2387. Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, March 2, 9, 2017
PUBLIC NOTICE MOBILE COUNTY ANNOUNCEMENT MOBILE COUNTY WILL BE AWARDED $235,181.00 IN FEDERAL FUNDS UNDER THE EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER NATIONAL BOARD PROGRAM. Mobile County has been chosen to receive funding to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The selection was made by the National Board chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and consisting of representatives from The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Jewish Communities, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and United Way of America. A Local Board will determine how the funds awarded to Mobile County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program. Under terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government; 2) have an accounting system; 3) practice nondiscrimination; 4) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and /or shelter programs; and 5) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply. For further information contact Laurie Childers, United Way of Southwest Alabama, 251-433-3624. The deadline for applications is February 24, 2017. Lagniappe HD Feb. 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 and the 13th Judicial Circuit; to repeal Act No. 82-675, 1982 1st Special Session, and Act No. 88-423, 1988 Regular Session, providing supplemental funding for certain salaries and expenses for the office of the District Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Mobile County. Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 23, March 2, 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 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; This bill would propose local amendments to the civil service system; to provide for non-elected members of the Supervisory Committee; to provide for when the Supervisory Committee meets; to provide for how notice of the Supervisory Committee meeting is advertised; to provide for the qualifications for members of the Personnel Board; to provide for Personnel Board districts; to provide for Personnel Board member compensation; to provide for definitions of disabled persons; to provide for the establishment of pay ranges; to provide for the establishment of pay for entry level employees; to provide for pay steps for promotional employees; to
provide for the methods of dismissals and suspensions of employees; to provide for the Personnel Board receiving legal services; to provide for the Personnel Board being a party in court proceedings. Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 23, March 2, 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
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
NOTICE OF SALE
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 558 S. Wilson Ave., Mobile, AL 36617. 2006 Acura 3.2 TL 19UUA66296A006555 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7963 Bonanza Dr., Mobile, AL 36695. 1994 Geo Metro 2C1MR2463R6744372 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 310 Oak Dr., Mobile, AL 36617. 2005 Ford Crown Vic 2FAFP71W05X104665 2005 Lincoln Town Car 1LNHM82W65Y624624 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 21864 Smith Rd., Bay Minette, AL 36507. 1997 Honda Passport 4S6CK58V6V4405822 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 13850 Whatley Rd., Silverhill, AL 36576. 1998 Chevrolet GMT-400 1GCEC19M7WE246113 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 2565 Halls Mill Rd. Suite D, Mobile, AL 36606. 2006 Nissan Pathfinder 5N1AR18U86C628706 2001 Porsche Boxster
Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5971 Hwy 90, Theodore, AL 36582. 1998 Cadillac Deville 1G6KD54Y7WU709359 2006 Ford Mustang 1ZVFT82H465112683 2000 Toyota Camry 4T1BG22K2YU670700 2003 Toyota Camry 4T1BF32K53U546194 1999 Oldsmobile 88 1G3HN52KXX4814188 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 3GNEK13T52G129661 2001 Honda Accord 1HGCG22521A030840 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5713 Three Notch Rd., Mobile, AL 36619. 2001 Chevrolet Blazer 1GNDT13W11K232554 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 24151 Hawk Lane, Robertsdale, AL 36567. 2008 Hyundai Elantra KMHDU46D98U463648 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2005 Chevrolet Equinox 2CNDL63F556024784 2011 Toyota RAV4 2T3ZF4DV4BW054547 2015 Harley Davidson XG750 1HD4NBB15FC507454 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 17, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 50933 US 31, Bay Minette, AL 36507. 2000 Kia Sephia KNAFB1213Y5853195 Lagniappe HD Feb. 9, 16, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 168 Esplanade Ave., Mobile, AL 36606. 1996 Toyota Camry 4T1BG12K2TU695535 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, Al 36613. 2007 BMW 750LI WBAHN83597DT74441 2002 Infiniti I35 JNKDA31A32T029919 2013 Hyundai Elantra 5NPDH4AE6DH223261 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed at 6445 Todd Acres Dr., Theodore, AL 36582. 2000 Ford Explorer 1FMZU62X8YZA05538 1995 Cadillac Deville 1G6KD52B0SU252564 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5713 Three Notch Rd., Mobile, AL 36619. 2010 Dodge Ram Truck 1D7RB1GPXAS162692 2009 BMW 328I WBAPH77519NL83736 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed at 5971 Hwy 90, Theodore, AL 36582. 2001 Volvo S40 YV1VS29511F611075 1996 Honda Accord 1HGCE6674TA025795 1996 Nissan 200SX 1N4BB42D1TRC509811 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
LAGNIAPPE LEGALS The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1015 N. Craft Hwy., Prichard, AL 36610. 2006 Dodge Charger 2B3KA53H36H338423 2007 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WB58K079247521 2001 Cadillac DeVille 1G6KD54Y21U145337 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5281 Schillinger Rd. S., Mobile, AL 36619. 1996 Toyota Tacoma 4TAVL52N6TZ128452 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 887 Cochran Causeway, Mobile, AL 36602. 2008 GMC Savana 1GDGG31C081907207 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5891 Sunshine Lane, Mobile, AL 36619. 2007 Saturn Aura 1G8ZS57N07F188410 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1408 Montlimar Dr., Mobile, AL 36609. 2015 Toyota Prius JTDKN3DU7F0436216 2014 Kia Forte KNAFX4A66E5159659 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1111 Oakdale Ave., Mobile, AL 36605. 2001 Mercury Marquis 2MEFM75W41X601305 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5670 Woodchase Circle E., Theodore, AL 36582. 2003 Lincoln Town & Country 1LNHM81W93Y615673 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 24, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 14 West Elm St., Mobile, AL 36610. 2008 Chrysler Town & Country 2A8HR54P68R844003 Lagniappe HD Feb. 16, 23, 2017
EARLY DEADLINE NOTICE Due to the Mardi Gras holiday, the deadline for legal advertising in the March 2, 2017, issue will be Friday, March 24th at 2 p.m. Please email Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
STYLE HOROSCOPES CANCER CONSTRUCTS THE EIGHTH WONDER AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — You’ll move “ye booty” down to GulfQuest for the pirate exhibit to show everyone you’re not a “scallywag.” You’ll find it interesting “thar,” and leave feeling like a Buccaneer. You’ll tell everyone what a hARRRGHty time you had. PISCES (2/19-3/20) — You’ll back out of a real estate venture after discovering several hidden cameras scattered throughout the midtown home you’ve been eyeing. Even with the spacious yard and safe location, the discovery of a closed-circuit TV will make you scared of whatever the inspector might find in the crawlspace. ARIES (3/21-4/19) — After North Korea’s latest missile test, you’ll start looking into affordable options for bulk food rations. While staples like ramen and canned meat will obviously make the list, you’ll be thrilled to learn about the Dew Drop Inn’s plan to release a powdered chilli dog survival MRE. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — Though the unpredictable standstills of downtown Mobile are enough to give any GPS system trouble, pop-up parades and rougue pedestrians of Mardi Gras will prove too much for your Uber driver. After several reroutes, you’ll wind up celebrating Carnival in a stranger’s mid-sized sedan. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — Your plan to ambush a full-speed MAMGA float will seem short sighted at first but ultimately pays off. After dodging a crossfire of candies and living through an attack from a makeshift bead garrote, you’ll make a quick escape down Conti with a entire box of banana MoonPies. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — You’ll go native at the Order of Inca parade Friday night and begin constructing a sacred pyramid downtown. Coincidentally it’ll align with the Winter Solstice, but really you were just angling for a good view of Moe’s. LEO (7/23-8/23) — In two years, you’ll help the city design and open a new welcome center downtown. Looking farther into the future, the dome-shaped building will be equipped with a parking lot for flying cars. Much like GulfQuest and its highspeed ferry dock, it’s ahead of its time. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — In an effort to deal with school overcrowding in Baldwin County, you’ll come to the school board with the idea of floating classrooms. Unfortunately, your plan will sink when all the houseboats immediately spring leaks — because every houseboat ever made is old. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — In an effort to make free crawfish boils legal again in downtown, you’ll come up with a plan that turns Dauphin Street into a river of boiling water. Cooks in the local bars can then just add the potatoes, spices and mudbugs for a truly delicious event. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — You and your friends will welcome the USS Mason to Mobile with a stirring rendition of “In The Navy” dockside at Cooper Riverside Park. Everyone will be so inspired by the performance they’ll either enlist or turn gay. SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — You’ll drink out of a beer bottle that has a cigarette butt in it. You’ve been here before. Sadly, you’ll be here again. That gag reflex is perfectly natural. Go ahead and play it off and get yourself another cold one. CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — You’ll go to a Fairhope City Council meeting just to start a beef. During a recent visit you found the shops and restaurants too full, which made it hard to browse and not buy anything. Also, that damned pelican on the pier was rude to you.
Fe b r u a r y 1 6 , 2 0 1 7 - Fe b r u a r y 2 2 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 43