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MARCH 2, 2017 - MARCH 8, 2017 | www.lagniappemobile.com
ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor email@example.com ROB HOLBERT Co-publisher/Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STEVE HALL Marketing/Sales Director email@example.com GABRIEL TYNES Assistant Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org DALE LIESCH Reporter email@example.com JASON JOHNSON Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org JANE NICHOLES Reporter email@example.com
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O’Charley’s ordered to pay $1.6 million after patron swallows glass at Mobile location.
Fairhope calls up Mobile for some neighborly advice.
Ireland-based MAAS Aviation has opened a new $13 million, 80,000-square-foot hangar facility at the Brookley Aeroplex.
With the advent of Lent, a meditation on culinary sacrifice.
KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor firstname.lastname@example.org ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor email@example.com
STEPHEN CENTANNI Music Editor firstname.lastname@example.org J. MARK BRYANT Sports Writer email@example.com STEPHANIE POE Copy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org DANIEL ANDERSON Chief Photographer email@example.com LAURA RASMUSSEN Art Director www.laurarasmussen.com
The H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport in Fairhope is causing quite a controversy in Fairhope.
BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive firstname.lastname@example.org BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive email@example.com ASHLEY KILLIAN Advertising Sales Executive firstname.lastname@example.org ALEEN MOMBERGER Advertising Sales Executive email@example.com MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mobile Symphony Orchestra presents “American Masters of Film” March 11-12.
A conversation with Chris Ruiz of local pop punk band A Sunday Fire.
ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager email@example.com JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS: Lee Hedgepeth, Jeff Poor, Asia Frey, Brian Holbert, Tom Murphy, Ellen Huckabay, Sharman Egan ON THE COVER: 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: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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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Ewan McGregor directs and stars in “American Pastoral,” a lazy adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel.
Controlling fire ants in your yard
The University of Mobile’s new cheer squad recently won the Southern States Athletic Conference championship.
Boozie has all of your Mardi Gras gossip and a report from PensaCon.
M a r c h 2 , 2 0 1 7 - M a r c h 8 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 3
COMMISSIONER DEMANDS RETRACTION Dear Ms. Nicholes, Mr. Tynes and Mr. Holbert: As you know, I currently represent Mr. Christopher Elliott, who is a Baldwin County Commissioner, and who was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on May 14, 2016. Following Mr. Elliott’s arrest, there were several media reports concerning Mr. Elliott’s initial press release, the facts and circumstances of the arrest and Mr. Elliott’s subsequent interviews with certain civic organizations and media outlets. Lagniappe decided to write several articles about Mr. Elliott’s case and the facts and circumstances of his arrest. When Lagniappe contacted me for the first two articles, I provided telephone interviews answering many questions about Mr. Elliott’s position. Regardless of my explanation, and despite these interviews, Lagniappe continued to write unfavorable and unimportant stories about the arrest and the legal proceedings which ensued. As a result, and pursuant to Mr. Elliott’s instruction, I stopped providing any comments to Lagniappe when requested on multiple occasions. Mr. Elliott then chose to speak about his legal proceedings to the Eastern Shore Republican Women’s group, Hal Scheurich with Fox News 10 and Debbie Williams with NBC 15 in live media interviews. It was clear Lagniappe became upset due to the lack of access to Mr. Elliott. This sole fact influenced your ability to cover Mr. Elliott’s cases without bias and precipitated your future negative articles. On Feb. 1, an article was published by Lagniappe (on the byline of Jane Nicholes with contribution by Mr. Tynes and Mr. Holbert) about Mr. Elliott which contained the following language:
“Compounding matters, Elliott falsely told local media and a gathering of Republican women earlier this month his case had been ‘settled’ recently, ending with a guilty plea, fines and a 45-day suspension of his driver’s license.” As a public figure, Lagniappe is free to express its opinions about the legal proceedings of Mr. Elliott; however, Lagniappe is not free to recklessly misrepresent facts in order to generate ratings and community interest in its publication. On Sept. 7, 2016, Mr. Elliott’s criminal case was settled pursuant to an Order to Withhold Adjudication issued by Judge Haymes Snedeker in the Municipal Court of Fairhope, Alabama. On Jan. 6, Mr. Elliott’s driver’s license suspension lawsuit was also settled as confirmed in a Final Order issued by Judge William Shashy in the Circuit Court of Baldwin County, Alabama on Feb. 15, 2017. Under Alabama law, the publishing of false and misleading information concerning Mr. Elliott constitutes libel for which my client may be entitled to compensatory damages. Furthermore, well-established Alabama law dictates that if a libelous statement is published maliciously, either with knowledge it was false or reckless disregard of whether it was false or not, Mr. Elliott may be entitled to punitive damages. At the time you wrote the article on Feb. 1, 2017, Mr. Elliott had settled both of his legal proceedings. You had no information in your possession to verify Lagniappe’s self-serving statement that Mr. Elliott “falsely” represented anything when speaking to the public. This statement was simply fabricated to appease your readers. In other words, you recklessly disregarded whether such statement was true or not because your news publication was angry that Mr. Elliott would not communicate with you. Please allow this letter to serve as Mr.
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Elliott’s formal demand for an immediate full and fair retraction as to your previous statement in the same manner and same method as your previous article was published. Your failure to comply may result in Mr. Elliott seeking legal action. Sincerely, D. Robert Stankoski Jr. Editor’s Note: Mr. Elliott and his attorney have been offered the opportunity to produce any signed legal document concluding his legal dealings with ALEA that predates his statements to the media and Republican Women’s gathering. They have not done so. We stand by our reporting.
DESPITE WHAT THE BOARD SAYS Dear Mr. Lee, We are writing to voice our concern over the future of Mobile Ballet. Our daughters have been students at Mobile Ballet for nearly five years, and the last two years have seen a noticeable decline of the quality of administration of the ballet school. Communication to parents this year has been abysmal at best. Reenrollment instructions were sent incredibly late compared to previous years. The ballet stopped using a local business for uniforms, instead requiring the purchase of uniforms from an internet retailer who had problems supplying the needed uniforms. Instructions for performance commitments and requirements were extremely vague and given last minute. In the past, the ballet has been extremely well run, but we noticed a significant drop in the quality of the administration. We were also surprised and disheartened
when we first heard of Winthrop Corey’s resignation. Many parents of the company and school have been requesting answers from the board as to why Corey resigned and what the future plans for the ballet are. The board has not provided any substantive explanation regarding his resignation. We are concerned that Mobile Ballet has lost one of the best artistic assets in the city of Mobile in Mr. Winthrop Corey. He truly loves and cares for his students and his ballet. Yes, it is Winthrop Corey’s Mobile Ballet even if the board majority fails to recognize it. Furthermore, the lack of corporate and individual donors listed in the program for this year’s performance of “The Nutcracker” is troubling. In previous years, the program listed significantly more corporate and individual donors. We were quite shocked at the decreased support that the board and employees were able to recruit. The information that we have now read in your articles and the lawsuit on file seem to provide a very plausible explanation for the decline that we have noticed over the last couple of years. This information concerns us deeply. In closing, we are extremely concerned for the future of Mobile Ballet. We felt the need to pull both of our daughters from Mobile Ballet pending a satisfactory resolution to this conflict. We are concerned with the financial solvency of Mobile Ballet based upon the information we have read in the complaint and our own observation of shrinking donors. We strongly feel that an external audit needs to be conducted on all of the finances of Mobile Ballet. The current board leadership has lost the confidence of many of its supporters, performers and students. Sincerely, Douglas & Shannon Bridges
BAYBRIEF | MOBILE COUNTY
Risky, but ‘doable’ LAW ENFORCEMENT RAISES OK’D AMID BUDGET CONCERNS BY JASON JOHNSON
he Mobile County Commission moved forward with what could ultimately be a 10 percent pay raise for its public safety employees last week, despite financial concerns over how the increased personnel costs might affect future budgets. The 7.5 percent raise would apply to all Mobile County Sheriff’s deputies and corrections staff at Mobile Metro Jail. If approved by the Mobile County Personnel Board, the starting salary for new hires also would be increased and overall pay ranges for all employees expanded. Officers could see the difference in their checks as early as March 31. The adjustment was part of a plan presented by Commissioner Connie Hudson that could potentially provide an additional 2.5 percent pay raise for all county employees at the start of the new fiscal year. Together, that could potentially equal a 10 percent raise for all MCSO staff by Oct. 1. “I believe it’s incumbent upon us to react to this and help alleviate this crisis situation that’s happening with law enforcement,” Hudson said. “This would go a long way in helping the department be where they need to be to recruit people. They’re losing officers every day.” Over the past three years, MCSO employees have been especially vocal about the need for pay increases among their staff, and Sheriff Sam Cochran himself spoke to the issue last fall after more than a dozen deputies left the force. Though there were no county pay increases for several years following the 2008 recession, commissioners have approved several cost-ofliving adjustments for all employees since 2014 — bumping up salaries around 5 percent with each fiscal year. Despite that, Cochran has maintained that low wages continue to make it difficult for MCSO to compete with other agencies, retain veteran employees and attract new recruits. He said the problem has also been exacerbated by an “anti-police” mentality seen “across the country.” On Thursday, he called the proposed 7.5 percent pay increase “a step in the right direction.” “At this point in time, I believe they’ve done all they can do, but going forward, it’s our anticipation they’ll continue to look at these issues,” he said. “By raising the starting salary, it puts us in a more competitive position to compete for the decreasing number of new hires that are available.” Cochran made similar comments when discussing a legislative bill his office advertised in January that was intended to earmark anticipated county revenues from the Simplified Seller Use Tax Remittance Act to fund higher salaries and additional training for his officers. That program, which collects state and local sales taxes on online purchases, are already generating far more revenue than initially expected. However, after “some negotiations,” and in light of the proposed pay adjustments, Cochran said his office isn’t planning to move on that bill. Last month, the Alabama Department of Revenue said it expected to take in roughly $40 million in online sales taxes, with Mobile County poised to receive $840,000 annually.
However, this week Hudson said the county is expecting $1.5 million annually — $1.2 million of which will be used to fund increased salaries for employees in District Attorney Ashley Rich’s office. Voting with Hudson to move MCSO’s pay raises forward was Commissioner Jerry Carl. While Carl said “the safety of our citizens” is one of the commission’s “top priorities,” he also acknowledged that funding those raises and the salary hikes in Rich’s office would make for “a tough year of budgeting.”
Funding Hudson’s plan
The county’s finance department is projecting the 7.5 percent pay adjustment for MCSO will cost an additional $1.1 million a year. If approved, the 2 percent COLA for all county employees would require $2.4 million, bringing the total recurring cost to $2.8 million. Along with online sales tax revenue, Hudson’s plan would sustain that increased personnel cost with $2 million of annual carryover funds. Potentially, it could also redirect a significant portion of tobacco tax review used for economic development efforts, which was built in as a “safety net.” “Right now, our trend is toward slight growth, and if that continues we will certainly be in a position to be able to utilize part of those funds,” she said. “[Using economic development funds] is not something we would want to do or even consider doing long term. Obviously, economic development is an important part of what we do.” While Hudson called the plan “doable,” she also said it would be contingent upon sustained growth in revenue, adding there was “a small amount of risk” in taking on the expense. However, Commission President Merceria Ludgood voted against the pay increase and took those financial concerns much further on Thursday. While Ludgood supports addressing MCSO’s needs, she said, the budgetary implications of Hudson’s proposal “frightened” her. She particularly took issue with the use of economic development funding to cover the recurring cost of the raises given that, according to a recent a study, Mobile has the “16th highest unemployment rate” in the United States. “I can’t imagine adding this to our budget on the hope that things are going stay like they are when I have another department telling me that they also have critical hiring needs,” Ludgood said. “And when you look at our strategy — we’ll take the money we’d put in economic development to do it — I don’t know about y’all, but I have lots of folks in District 1 who have no job at all.” Despite Ludgood’s concerns, the proposal passed 2-1, though it will still have to be approved by the Mobile County Personnel Board before it can be implemented. After the meeting, Cochran thanked Hudson and Carl for their support. He also briefly spoke to Ludgood’s opposition to using of economic development funding. “Public safety is economic development,” he said. “If you have no public safety, you can’t expect to have economic development.”
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BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
SUPERVISOR TOLD OFFICERS NOT TO RESPOND TO SHOOTINGS BY JASON JOHNSON
n appeal to the personnel board has revealed that the Mobile Police Department’s most senior supervisor was demoted two ranks last year for ordering officers not to respond to reports of shots being fired on at least two occasions. Cpl. Ray Robertson — a near 40-year employee of the MPD — was demoted from his position as lieutenant after instructing officers not to respond to those reported shootings over his concerns that responding officers might have potentially been walking into an ambush. Chief James Barber said there have been similar concerns of officers being targeted around the country, citing “the Ferguson effect” — an idea that the increased scrutiny of law enforcement following recent officer-involved shootings has led to an “anti-police” mentality, manifesting in attacks on cops in cities such as Dallas, Baton Rouge and Des Moines, Iowa. “Obviously, we understand our jobs are inherently dangerous. We also understand there’s been indiscriminate slaying of police officers across the country, but we still have a job to do in spite of that,” Barber said. “We always encourage our officers to be alert, to be cautions and even to respond with a supervisor when they’re going to calls that might be suspicious, but not responding at all is absolutely inappropriate.” Specifically, a charging report from Robertson’s internal disciplinary proceedings accuses the former lieutenant of ordering MPD sergeants to “telephone dispatchers and screen calls for service of shots fired before they could be dispatched” to the locations of those reports. “Lt. Robertson’s verbal order regarding the handling of
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shots fired complaints caused units delay in their response, or in the case of two complaints cited in this investigation, caused units to fail to respond to the complaints at all,” the report concludes. Barber said Robertson’s actions were a violation of MPD protocols that consider “shots fired” to be a highpriority call that merits an immediate response. In addition, the charging report indicates that screening emergency calls would violate the Communication Unit’s operating procedures. In general, Barber said MPD rules dictate that “if somebody issues an unlawful order, [officers] don’t have to do it at all, but if it’s an improper order, [they] carry it out but
I THINK THE INFORMATION THAT’S BEEN PUT OUT HAS CAST ME IN THE LIGHT OF SOMEBODY THAT DIDN’T WANT TO DO HIS JOB, BUT THAT’S NOT TRUE. WHAT I DID, I DID FOR THE SAFETY OF MY MEN.” report it.” Though he couldn’t say how many times Robertson gave improper orders, Barber said on at least two occasions officers responded to local hospitals for reported gunshot wounds after reports of “shots being fired” had
been ignored — both of which occurred in the Theodore area Robertson oversaw as a shift supervisor in the MPD’s second police precinct. “Now, that doesn’t mean we would have prevented those shootings from happening if we had responded,” Barber added. “We also can’t say whether the shots that were reported were the same ones that caused those injuries. We don’t know because we didn’t respond to the scene.” According to Robertson’s charging report, the disciplinary options at MPD’s disposal ranged from a 40-hour, unpaid suspension all the way up to possible termination. After an internal review in December, though, a trial board of MPD superiors opted to impose a two-rank demotion. While the disciplinary action wasn’t nearly as severe as it could have been, Robertson told Lagniappe he believes his punishment was still “way over what it should have been” considering his employment record with the MPD and his previous service in the United States military. “Out of 500 employees, I’ve been here longer than anyone, and in nearly 40 years, I’ve never had a major violation, and I’ve never been suspended,” he said. “I think the information that’s been put out has cast me in the light of somebody that didn’t want to do his job, but that’s not true. What I did, I did for the safety of my men.” Though MPD doesn’t generally discuss personnel matters, if an employee appeals a case to the Mobile County Personnel Board, the allegations against them become become public. Currently, Robertson is appealing his demotion, and a hearing is scheduled on March 14. Though he didn’t specifically say it was correlated, Robertson said the first time he recalls instructing officers not to respond to reported gunfire was in July 2016 — just a few weeks after an officer-involved shooting in Mobile resulted in the death of 19-year-old Michael Moore. According to the charging report, which was dated Nov. 11, 2016, another instance was reported in or around the month of October, making it, with at least a dozen reported homicides, one of Mobile’s deadliest months of gun violence in recent memory. Still, Robertson said he was “not ashamed” of the actions that led to his demotion, and cited data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund showing the number of officers killed in the line of duty rose by 44 percent in 2016, including a 167 percent jump in the “ambush-style killings” he was concerned about last year. “This is not something I just thought up, there’s still officers getting slaughtered every day by people who just hate the police,” Robertson said. “I backed my guys just like I’ve always backed my guys. That’s the only way I know how to police.”
BAYBRIEF | COURTS
A perilous pastry
O’CHARLEY’S ORDERED TO PAY $1.6M AFTER PATRON SWALLOWS GLASS AT MOBILE LOCATION BY DALE LIESCH
lunch order more than three years ago in Mobile would change Robert Farroll’s life forever. The Pensacola man was recently awarded $1.6 million from O’Charley’s after a Mobile County Circuit Court jury determined the 1-inch piece of glass he swallowed — resulting in $116,000 in medical bills and about six months away from work — came from the pot pie he ordered at the popular chain restaurant. The Farrolls and some family members went to the O’Charley’s on Schillinger Road on Feb. 9, 2014, following their granddaughter’s gymnastic competition, Farroll’s attorney Randall Caldwell said. While eating the pot pie he ordered, Farroll felt something sharp get stuck in his throat, Caldwell said. The now 60-year-old began to choke. His wife and son noticed, but the object eventually went down, Caldwell said. “At which point he told them he thought he swallowed a chicken bone,” Caldwell said. “He didn’t think anything about it.” Other than losing his appetite, Farroll seemed to feel fine, Caldwell said. But Farroll began to feel sick the Wednesday following the incident. By Thursday, Caldwell said, the illness got bad enough that his wife, Cathy, a registered nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, told her husband to go to the emergency room. It was Feb. 14, 2014, Caldwell said. A computerized tomography (CT) scan showed Robert
Farroll had a perforated bowel and a “dense object” was present in his small intestine, Caldwell said. Doctors at the hospital decided at that point to do surgery. A trauma surgeon made an 8-inch incision — from 4 inches above his bellybutton to 4 inches below it. Caldwell said the surgeon had to remove a section of Farroll’s small intestine that had become necrotic, or dead. While the section of intestines removed was not large enough to make reattachment impossible, Caldwell said, to ward off infection the surgeon had to install an ileostomy bag, which is similar to a colostomy bag only attached in a different spot. “He spent four days in the hospital after the first surgery,” Caldwell said. “He spent three months with the [ileostomy] bag. … He had a second surgery in May 2014 to reverse the ileostomy and reattach the intestines.” From Feb. 14 until the end of 2014, Farroll made a total of 15 trips to the hospital related to the incident, Caldwell said. These visits include the two surgeries and 13 additional visits. “In total, his medical bills were in excess of $116,000,” Caldwell said. “He missed five to six months of work with Gulf Power in Cantonment [Florida].” Caldwell said Farroll’s diet changed as a result of the incident. For instance, he is discouraged from eating fried foods and must take in a lot more fluids. While defense attorney Cliff Brady referred calls to O’Charley’s marketing manager David Ellis, who hasn’t yet returned a call seeking comment, Caldwell said the
defense questioned where the pink-tinted soda-lime glass originated. Cathy Farroll is a stained glass artist in her spare time, Caldwell said, and the defense claimed since there is no light pink glass in the restaurant, the piece at the center of the case had to have come from the Farroll residence. Despite two glass experts being called to testify, Caldwell said the question about where exactly the glass came from could not be answered. “No one in the case can tell you where this glass came from,” Caldwell said. “They don’t know.” Because the pot pies are only assembled at O’Charley’s, Caldwell said he originally added a number of suppliers to the lawsuit, but they were removed because the case against them hadn’t been proven. In testimony, Caldwell said, the trauma surgeon told the jury that based on the infection and necrosis, Farroll would have had to ingest the glass at least
THE PENSACOLA MAN WAS RECENTLY AWARDED $1.6 MILLION FROM O’CHARLEY’S AFTER A MOBILE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JURY DETERMINED THE 1-INCH PIECE OF GLASS HE SWALLOWED — RESULTING IN $116,000 IN MEDICAL BILLS AND ABOUT SIX MONTHS AWAY FROM WORK — CAME FROM THE POT PIE HE ORDERED AT THE POPULAR CHAIN RESTAURANT. ” three days before the initial surgery occurred. He had surgery about four days after eating at the restaurant, Caldwell said. The size of the glass shard also benefited Farroll’s case, as Caldwell said it would’ve been impossible to swallow it and not know it. The testimony of Cathy Farroll and the Farrolls’ son was also helpful on this point, Caldwell said. After a “very, very long deliberation in a civil case,” the jury awarded Robert Farroll $1.5 million in compensatory damages. Cathy Farroll was awarded $100,000.
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BAYBRIEF | MOBILE COUNTY
‘A frenzy’ in Semmes COUNTY LOOKS TO END ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ LIBRARY LEASE BY JASON JOHNSON
hanks to a deal pushed largely by former County Commissioner Stephen Nodine, the library in Semmes has enjoyed substantial county funding for years, but as officials approach the end of an expensive lease, the relatively young city has found itself being asked to pick up the tab. At 9150 Moffett Road, the facility is just outside Semmes city limits, and despite being known as “the Semmes Library,” it’s technically a branch of the Mobile Public Library system. It’s also housed in a building owned by CVS that the county has leased since 2007, three years before Semmes was incorporated as a city. While the community helped raise $380,000 to establish the library, the Mobile County Commission has absorbed the cost of maintaining that lease to the tune of $143,000 per year, which is far more than libraries in other unincorporated areas receive annually. In addition, the lease requires the county to cover the cost of all maintenance and pay CVS’ ad valorem taxes and insurance on the property. So far, the commission has paid more than $1.7 million to lease the building, which has a fair market value of only $1.4 million. With the lease set to expire in September, though, “there’s no support” on the commission to renew the lease as is. However, officials in Semmes do not appear willing or able to take on the expense, either — leaving the future of one the area’s most utilized public libraries up in the air. “I’m not willing to go into another long-term lease where, basically, we are being taken to the cleaners. I understand that it’s a good library and they need the library,
but the funding has got to come from somewhere else,” Commission President Merceria Ludgood said last week. “It’s just fundamentally unfair, and I’ve had at least two other jurisdictions ask me how they can get that kind of deal for their libraries, and of course, that’s just not available.” Likewise, Commissioner Jerry Carl said there are two libraries in his own district that receive less funding, and he isn’t in favor of renewing the lease either. That has left Commissioner Connie Hudson, whose district includes Semmes, to push for a resolution on her own. However, even Hudson has said renewing the lease isn’t in the county’s best interest, calling it a “very shortterm agreement for the cost of the capital improvements that have been made.” Still, she’s continued to work with Semmes and CVS to see what, if anything, can be done. “I would like to help this community, and I don’t want to see those doors shut … I think it would be a terrible, terrible disgrace for that to happen,” Hudson said. “We can’t just pull the rug out from under these people. We’ve got to at least help them transition somehow.” Much to the chagrin of its supporters, though, the library doesn’t appear to be the highest priority for Semmes’ current administration. Lagniappe reached out to Mayor David R. Baker for comment on this story but did not receive a response by this publication’s deadline. He has written all three commissioners, though, urging them “to renew the lease” and allow the library to continue operating “as before.” Baker called it “the right thing to do,” adding that as the only public library between Spring
Hill and Citronelle, Semmes serves an estimated “21,579 Mobile County residents.” “All of these residents have been paying taxes — both ad valorem and sales — to Mobile County the entire time the Semmes library has existed and will continue to do so,” he wrote. “[Semmes] doesn’t have the financial ability to assume this lease or provide substantial funding for this library, at present or in the foreseeable future, as there are other critical priorities in public safety and public works on which the city must focus.” Baker said that with approval from the city council, Semmes might be able to provide “a small amount,” but was clear there would be no commitment to the library “on a recurring basis at this time.” He also said he’d expect “a great and justifiable public outcry” if the facility were to close. Only two possible solutions have been publicly proposed so far, and both depend on the generosity of others. The first is to ask CVS for a more palatable lease or to donate the building to the city for a potentially substantial tax write-off. The second, which was pitched by Carl, is for Hudson to use her own district educational and discretionary funding to keep the library afloat. No matter how the county proceeds, the lease requires commissioners to give CVS notice of how they’ll proceed by April 1 — leaving just two meetings to find a solution. That “time crunch” also led to a discussion last week about whether commissioners can discuss their options out of the public’s eye. Based on his interpretation of Alabama’s Open Meetings Act, Carl suggested he could discuss the matter with his colleagues in private, as long as they didn’t come to a conclusion. As he put it, “I can come to you with my thoughts on a project. You don’t tell me how you’re going to vote one way or another, and we walk way.” However, Hudon and Ludgood seemed to share a different interpretation of the law. “That’s a real gray area,” Hudson responded. “I’m sure people would be suspect [if] there wasn’t some conclusion that came out of a conversation like that. I prefer to err on the side of caution, so if I’m going to discuss something, it’s going to be in a public meeting.” The commission’s next public meetings are scheduled for March 13 and 27 at Government Plaza in Mobile, where the status of the library is likely to be revisited. Hudson is hosting a related meeting at the Semmes Community Center on March 7 at 6:30 p.m.
BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
Tag, you’re it! COUNCIL VOTE FORTHCOMING ON AMENDMENT TO HELP IDENTIFY STREET PATCHES BY DALE LIESCH
embers of the Mobile City Council are hoping an ordinance amendment to require utility companies and others to place plastic identification tags on asphalt patches will help the city better regulate cuts made to public streets. The amendment, discussed last week at a meeting of the City Council’s public services committee, would help city officials keep track of which utility made a particular patch after cutting into the pavement and how long a particular patch has been there, committee chairman Fred Richardson said. The original ordinance requires utilities to place a temporary patch over any stretch of roadway they cut into and after six months replace it with a permanent patch, Richardson said, adding that it sometimes takes utilities longer to replace the temporary patches. “The temporary patch sinks after six months,” Richardson said. “The street then starts to sink.” When the patches begin to sink or sag, Richardson said the city doesn’t have a good way to quickly identify who is responsible for the patch. “We don’t have any way of knowing who cut the streets and where,” he said. “We’re not keeping good records.” That’s where the new amendment comes in, which in turn would help the city better enforce the law already on the books. Committee members — Richardson, Joel Daves and C.J. Small — voted in favor of moving forward with the ordinance, after a few tweaks by council attorney Jim Rossler and City Engineer Nick Amberger. The first read of the amendment could come as early as the March 7 City
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Council meeting, Richardson said. Rossler said the small, three-legged plastic tag would be color-coded according to which utility company patched the street, and include two numbers to identify the year it was placed and the name of the company. “When they get to the final layer of asphalt, they would take the tag and push it down in the not-yet-set asphalt at zero grade,” he said. Richardson said he heard about the program while in Pittsburgh at a National League of Cities conference, but Rossler said similar ideas have sprouted in New Orleans, Charlotte and Boston. The tags must be placed on all temporary and perma-
MEMBERS OF THE MOBILE CITY COUNCIL ARE HOPING AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE UTILITY COMPANIES AND OTHERS TO PLACE PLASTIC IDENTIFICATION TAGS ON ASPHALT PATCHES WILL HELP THE CITY BETTER REGULATE CUTS MADE TO PUBLIC STREETS.” nent patches, according to the ordinance; placement of the tags depends on the size of the patch. For a small patch — less than 50 feet — one tag should be placed in the center. For a patch up to 100 feet, one tag
should be placed on each end of the patch, a foot from the edge. For a patch of 100 to 400 feet, a tag should be placed on each end and one tag should be placed in the center. In addition, a tag should be placed at each intersection. On any patch greater than 400 feet, according to the amendment, one tag should be placed at each end of the patch and at 200-foot intervals. A tag should also be placed at every intersection. Daves said he supported the measure because it was successful in a number of other cities and is an example of best practices. The move would also allow city officials to give residents more information about utility work when a cut into a street is needed, especially if the company is working on a street that had been recently improved, Daves said. “The cost of doing it on utilities is very modest,” Daves said. “It will provide additional information to constituents, council members and engineers at a very modest cost for the utility.” Councilwoman Bess Rich, who attended the committee meeting, said the council is “not reinventing the wheel” and called it “just a tool.” If there’s a problem, she said, they’d know where to call and it could help “streamline” information. Councilman John Williams was skeptical the program would work at all. He called it a politically convenient move. “It’s a bureaucratic response to a real problem, but it won’t fix anything,” he said. “The issue is about quality patches.” Williams said he would have prefered language that would hold utility companies financially responsible for cut-street restoration. “Nobody listened to me,” Williams said of the amendment. “This thing was so far down the road by the time it got to print.” The move would have an impact on utilities such as the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System, which has to fix aging infrastructure underneath the city’s roadways. MAWSS spokeswoman Barbara Shaw wrote in a statement sent via email that the utility often has to make unplanned cuts into city streets in order to be responsive to customer needs. “The city told us they could not use the permit information to identify the cuts so they need utilities to insert plastic tags in the pavement so they can easily identify which utility did the work,” she wrote. “We have no choice but to comply with this request. “New regulations and fees only increase our cost of doing business. Since we do not receive funds from the city, or any other source other than our ratepayers, these increases have to be passed along to our customers.”
BAYBRIEF | BALDWIN COUNTY
GOV. ROBERT BENTLEY PURCHASES VACANT FORT MORGAN LOT BY GABRIEL TYNES
ov. Robert Bentley, who lost the Gulf Shores beach house he shared with his ex-wife Dianne in their 2015 divorce agreement, appears to have made another real estate investment just two miles farther west down Fort Morgan Road, according to Baldwin County property records. Last October, the governor paid $137,500 for a vacant lot next to 6613 Sea Shell Drive. Notably, the property is just a block away from the state-owned mansion that recently benefited from a $1.8 million renovation, paid for with grant money available after the BP oil spill in 2010. Less than a month after their divorce was settled in September 2015, the governor signed a quit claim deed on the property he shared with Dianne, 8859 Pompano Way in Gulf Shores, which noted the assessor’s market value at the time was $374,000. The Bentleys originally purchased the property as a vacant lot in 2012. On Feb. 12, 2016, Dianne sold the property for $535,000 to Northriver Properties LLC, which listed an address in Tuscaloosa. Secretary of State’s records say Northriver Properties LLC dissolved in 2005, but the address provided on the deed is a house owned by Thomas West of Tuscaloosa. Three days before, Caleb Hastings of Bowl-
ing Green formed a Kentucky company called Kanine Properties LLC. On Sept. 15, 2016, Kanine Properties purchased 6613 Seashell Drive — a double lot with a small rental house on the west half — for $350,000 from Robert and Kelsey Griffin. About a month later, on Oct. 14, Kanine sold the vacant, east half of the property to Gov. Bentley for $137,500. Hastings, who was reached last week at his place of employment, First Southern National Bank in Kentucky, declined to offer any details about the transaction. “Whatever’s public record is out there but the rest of it should remain private,” he said. “I understand there is a lot of controversy with Gov. Bentley and I don’t want to get involved with it.” An online listing for 6613 Sea Shell Drive, a vacation house known as “Sea Forever,” notes that it is a three-bedroom, two-bath home with a separate one-bedroom studio downstairs capable of accommodating as many as 10 guests. A three-bedroom, three-bathroom home just a block away is currently listed on Zillow.com for $445,000; 6525 Sea Shell Drive, with four bedrooms and two baths, is listed for $449,000. Daniel Sparkman, a spokesman for Gov. Bentley, did not acknowledge a request for more information.
MAYOR DISMISSES TWO, COUNCIL REACTS WITH HIRING FREEZE
BY JANE NICHOLES
he decision by Mayor Karin Wilson to fire two well-known city employees led to the City Council instituting a temporary hiring freeze Monday, and seemed to leave the city divided. Some 300 people turned out for a special called council meeting, spilling out into the lobby where a monitor showed the meeting for those who didn’t want to stand along the walls inside. Judging from the applause, the crowd seemed split between supporters of the council — or the fired employees — and the mayor. On Friday, Wilson fired Public Works Director Jennifer Fidler and Community Affairs Director Sherry Sullivan, two longtime city employees well-known to many city residents. Word of the decision quickly made its way around the city and was a subject of contentious debate on social media throughout the weekend. “The council has received hundreds of calls, texts and emails,” said Kevin Boone, who presided over the special meeting. Boone said council members had no knowledge of the firings until after the fact. The hiring freeze could last up to 60 days, or “until the council has the opportunity to meet with the mayor to discuss these issues.” The issues include the mayor’s overall vision for the city, he said. Council President Jack Burrell was out of town Monday and Councilman Jay Robinson, an attorney, was reported to be in court. The three councilors who constituted a quorum and voted for the hiring freeze were Boone, Robert Brown and Jimmy Conyers. “I realize there are a lot of people that are upset right now,” Wilson said before the vote. “I do want everyone in this room and the citizens
of Fairhope to know that although I cannot talk about this issue because of liability from the city and out of respect for Sherry and Jennifer, I made this decision based on something that came up, and it was very hard decision. I cannot be specific, but I can say that it was a situation that would prevent me from doing my job successfully.” Fidler and Sullivan did not respond Monday to messages left seeking comment. Since Wilson took office in November, Planning and Zoning Director Jonathan Smith left the city, and her newly hired operations director, Scott Sligh, resigned after less than a week on the job. Within hours of the terminations Friday, former Mayor Tim Kant took to his Facebook page to criticize Wilson’s actions. Wilson defeated Kant in the August elections. “I’ve been hoping that the transition of our new mayor and council would be up [sic] a smooth transition,” Kant wrote. “The only reason I am on Facebook tonight it’s [sic] because Jennifer Fidler and Sherry Sullivan have been the most dedicated employees to the citizens of Fairhope. And for the mayor to just outright fire both tonight it’s just unbelievable. My prayers go out to the the city of Fairhope.” The council’s action forced City Attorney Marion “Tut” Wynne into an afternoon of research as to whether the council’s action was legal. He concluded the hiring freeze is legal and, because it is temporary, Wilson cannot veto it. The hiring freeze excludes the following positions: a new police officer; a new building inspector; and part-time or seasonal workers.
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COMMENTARY | DAMN THE TORPEDOES
Support strong news coverage ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
WE DON’T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY TO RUN A NEWSPAPER EXCEPT TO COVER THE IMPORTANT STORIES TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITIES, FAIRLY AND HONESTLY.”
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make it much more time consuming and expensive for citizens and nosy newspapers to use open records laws to get county information. They did it in the name of “saving money,” but it conveniently comes at a time when we’ve been looking more and more into the inner workings of Baldwin County and the fascinating connections its power brokers and elected officials seem to have. A few years ago, Mobile County’s Revenue Commissioner Marilyn Wood attempted to charge this newspaper $1,800 for three pages of information. What’s going on in Baldwin now is the same kind gambit. And we’re the only ones covering it. If you, gentle reader, believe other media will ever take on these issues, I’ve got Chris Elliott’s Breathalyzer report to sell you. I write all this to ask simply that you please understand this newspaper needs the support of readers and advertisers alike in order to overcome those who will fight tooth-and-nail for secrecy. Readers can buy subscriptions for home delivery. Business owners can advertise and reach 85,000 engaged, excited readers a week. Understand that those who would rather not have the light shined their way would love to bury us in garbage lawsuits or waste our time and money trying to gather records that are owned by the people. We’re not a multi-billion-dollar company that can airdrop lawyers in to fight bogus suits or petition for records, but we’re still the only ones who are going to really dig into things. Please remember that if you think Lagniappe is important to this community we can always use more support, and in return we’ll continue doing our best to give you this state’s best newspaper.
Although I could explain in great detail why this case is legally pointless — the biggest reason being that nothing untrue was written — we have printed enough stories at this point about Baldwin County Commission President Chris “Doin’ the Right Thing” Elliott’s handling of his DUI last year for readers to understand exactly what he’s trying to accomplish. But seeing as this threat is coming from an elected official who ought to welcome honesty and openness, it got me thinking a little about exactly what Lagniappe does as a newspaper and what we believe this community wants and needs. When Lagniappe started almost 15 years ago, we were just trying to fill the gaps left by the Press-Register and other major media outlets. We were the “alternative” newspaper and as such typically tried to focus on stories we thought weren’t getting enough attention. Over time we were able to grow and devote more resources to some investigative reporting, and we did work I’m of which I’m very proud. For example, we worked for six years on the cost issues associated with Mobile County’s indigent defense program before any other local media wrote or broadcast a word. And I’m pretty certain former Spanking Judge Herman Thomas wouldn’t have ever gone to trial or been disbarred without our coverage. There are many others. And even before the New Jersey ownership of the Press-Register fired most of its staff and rolled back to three days a week, we recognized a need in this community for tougher reporting that tried to keep elected officials on their toes. In broadcast media it’s rather common to crow over your product while newspapers generally let the work speak for itself. But maybe we’re too reticent to remind readers why they ought to be happy to have the kind of newspaper that’s not going to let a blowhard politician scare us away from getting to the truth. I’m not afraid to say our coverage of Mobile’s 911 Board over the past few years led the way in saving the county $5 million. Without our coverage I’m not so sure Mobile County wouldn’t be breaking ground on a $40 million soccer complex that would be our next big public failure. This newspaper was certainly the only publication willing to fight City Hall when Sam Jones was mayor and routinely forced that administration to provide public information it otherwise would have buried. We even took the city and Mobile Police Department to court over their illegal withholding of records showing misspending of funds in the Police Explorers Program. We’ve been working on problems at the Mobile Housing Board for years now. I’m not going to go on and on — but I could. Please don’t read this as a complaint. Ashley and I re-
alize our positive-to-negative comment ratio from readers and advertisers is probably as high as it could be. And I know we certainly aren’t perfect and there are lots of important stories we just don’t have the resources to cover. We are grateful Lagniappe has been accepted as a major part of this area’s media landscape by so many readers. But I do think sometimes our community needs to keep in mind that supporting a strong newspaper — especially a free one — doesn’t mean just reading it. I’ve had many conversations over the years with big local business owners or decision makers who say, “What y’all do is so important to our community!” but then they spend their ad dollars with media conglomerates run by out-of-state companies, that provide weaker and weaker coverage of this area by the minute. I’m sure those same business leaders would be the first ones to complain if Lagniappe wasn’t one day able to publish any longer. We don’t know any other way to run a newspaper except to cover the important stories to the best of our abilities, fairly and honestly. Doing that pisses some people off. Maybe Doin’ the Right Thing Elliott is one of those. There’s an old saying in the newspaper business attributed to various people, and the gist is: “News is what someone does not want you to know, the rest is public relations.” While I think there can certainly be real news local leaders want our readers to know, a great deal of time in our office is spent trying to ferret out what they don’t want you to know. Take for example what Elliott and his fellow Baldwin County Commissioners did just a couple of weeks ago. They voted to
The observant reader may have noticed on page 4 we’ve run a threatening letter from a local politician’s lawyer demanding a retraction of part of a story run at the beginning of last month. You might also notice an accompanying editor’s note explaining why this letter is a baseless waste of time and resources directed by an elected official who doesn’t want to answer some very simple questions and, in fact, is trying to lawyer this newspaper into not doing its job.
SANDY STIMPSON’S NEW STRATEGY FOR GETTING CITY COUNCIL COOPERATION.
COMMENTARY | THE HIDDEN AGENDA
Mo offers Fairhope some friendly advice ASHLEY TRICE/EDITOR/ASHLEYTOLAND@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
The following is a conversation between Mobile and Fairhope. Fairhope, who has a new mayor, was hoping her older, more experienced city across the bay could give her a little advice on some issues she has been experiencing with her new administration.
Fairhope: I think there are some who think she is doing a great job and doing exactly what she was elected to do. And I think there are some who think she is overstepping and a little too forceful. I just hate she and my council aren’t getting along. Mobile: Well, I can tell you this. If your Mobile: (answers, sounding very hoarse) mayor and council have a dysfunctional relaHello. tionship, it is not good for you. I mean, I know Fairhope: Hey, Mo. It’s Fairhope. that’s stating the obvious but it’s true. Your Mobile: Oh, hey girl. What’s up? mayor would be wise to try and push the reset Fairhope: You sound awful. button with the council. Mobile: You do know you are calling me at Fairhope: I agree. I truly want them to get 7:30 a.m. on Ash Wednesday, right? I feel like a along for my own good. moonpie that’s been run over and then pooped Mobile: I think just better communication on by a police horse. would make a world of difference. You know, Fairhope: Yuck! Such potty talk, Mobile. like when she fired the two longtime employees, Remember who you are talking to. We do not the council said they had no idea that was going talk about poo in my city because my residents to happen. Reaching out to them on things like are not allowed to have that bodily function. that would certainly better their relationship. Mobile: Sorry. I’m still a little drunk. I’ll try Fairhope: I know it would. All this fighting to behave. is just so embarrassing. And you know me, I Fairhope: Please see that you do. Anyway, hate it when things aren’t absolutely perfect. I the reason I am calling is I just didn’t know mean, I’m Fairhope. Perfection and harmony are if you’ve heard what has been going on since kind of my things. my new mayor Karin Wilson took office in Mobile: I know. And if your mayor and November. council aren’t getting along now, whatever will Mobile: Oh yeah. Quite the show y’all have y’all do when you have such horrible tragedies going on over there. If I were allowed to say poo occur — like the Christmas tree lights not going words I would have put one in front of show. It up high enough on the trees, or if the downtown rhymes with snit. flower budget gets slashed? (Mobile giggles.) Fairhope: Um, yes. I know what you meant. Fairhope: Don’t even say such horrible Geez, Mo. I think you spent too much time with things! your citizens on Joe Cain Day! You sound about Mobile: Um. You do know I was joking, as classy as a braless, toothless redneck woman right? in Spanish Plaza. Fairhope: Jealous much? Mobile: Actually, I think I did see her. Mobile: Oh please. We have nice flowers in Fairhope: I’m pretty sure you probably saw my downtown now too. Well, if the Mardi Gras 50 of her. I know I do every time I have to go drunks didn’t kill them. Look, Fairhope, it’s still over to that cesspool y’all call home. early. Mayor Wilson has a chance to turn things Mobile: They are probably just visitors around with the council … if she wants to. from Wilmer. I’m not claiming them. Anyway, She may think she is making a bigger political so what’s the latest with your little civic soap statement by having an antagonistic relationship opera? with them, though. And maybe they do too. She Fairhope: Well, Karin started a whole bunch certainly has her detractors as well. So someone of drama again when she fired two longtime could make a career out of being the Anti-Karin employees last week. So the council voted to too. put a hiring freeze on everyone except a buildFairhope: I hope not. I feel like everyone ing inspector and two police officers. Essentially is laughing at us and taking so much joy in my they are preventing her from hiring anyone new. misery. Mobile: Actually, as I was checking FaceMobile: Oh, girl, we are. I popped a bag book to see if that giraffe had given birth yet, of extra-butter popcorn to devour while I’ve I saw something about that on her page. What been watching this whole mess play out. It’s so was it she posted? scandalicious. Fairhope (sighs, then reads Mayor WilFairhope: I knew it! I bet Daphne and son’s Facebook post): “Yesterday, I had to Spanish Fort are just loving this too. They have make the difficult yet necessary decision to let always been so jealous of me. two department heads go. Like some of you, I Mobile: Well, we all think you are a snob … am both hurt and upset. Nevertheless, my combecause you are. mitment to the city is stronger than ever and our Fairhope: It’s not being snobby. I just know talented team will continue to move our city I am better than all of you. I mean, doesn’t half forward.” of your own administrative staff live over here? Mobile: Kind of an odd channel to comment That’s just sad. Deep down in your crime-andon personnel matters, don’t you think? litter-ridden-city heart, you know it’s true. Fairhope: Yeah, and she posted this image Mobile: Just keep thinking that. of the sea with this saying written on it: “SomeFairhope: No, I’ll just keep knowing that. times the hardest thing and the right thing are Anyway, I need to let you go. I have to decide the same.” whose wharf I want to watch the sunset from Mobile: Weird. I’m sure the people who got this evening. So many choices, so little time. axed will find that very comforting. Mobile: You people and those sunsets. Fairhope: Well, there are folks who are not Good lord. happy about it over here. Someone even started a Fairhope: I know. Aren’t they amazing? petition asking for her resignation because of this. Hello, Mo. Are you there? Mo? Mobile: So, I mean, what do your citizens “I can’t believe that witch just hung up on think of her? me,” Fairhope says to herself. “So Mobile.”
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COMMENTARY | THE MONTGOMERY MINUTE
Senate doubles down on unproven education program BY LEE HEDGEPETH/COLUMNIST
he Alabama Senate has passed a bill that would set up a second siphon of taxpayer dollars to fund private school education in the state, a move that doubles down on an educational program unproven in Alabama and proven to worsen outcomes in other states. Senate Bill 123, sponsored by Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, expands various provisions of the so-called Alabama Accountability Act. That law, passed in 2013, labels the bottom 5 percent of public schools as “failing,” and provides tax credits to individuals and businesses that donate to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) that fund students’ departures from those schools. “What you are doing is taking public money from a private school to recruit a student out of a public school,” Sen. Rodger Smitherman said in explaining the legislation. And he’s right. In the years since its passage, the state’s Education Trust Fund has lost upward of $66 million in funding it would have gained if it weren’t for the tax credit program. This has had real results for school systems across the state. In 2014, for example, Tallapoosa County School Superintendent Joe Windle specifically cited a loss of funding caused by the law as the reasons for layoffs in his district. “At the beginning of last school year,” Windle explained to me at the time, “we lost the funding for all library aides across the state of Alabama. That was due to the funding of scholarships under the Alabama Account-
ability Act for students to attend private schools. That was a $40 million cost to education funding. Our share of that cost as a system was $268,000. That’s what it cost us.” Sadly, since its inception, while it was billed as an effort to give “school choice” to those in institutions labeled “failing” by the state, the Alabama Accountability Act has done just the opposite. For the over $66 million the state has lost in public school education funding because of the bill, only about 4,000 students have been granted scholarships through the program, which also allows SGOs to spend 5 percent of their revenue — millions of dollars over the years — for “administrative costs,” including advertising critical of public schools and salaries of those working for the various organizations. Additionally, SGOs have pioneered the law far beyond its original intent of helping those in the worst schools. Since before the practice was even allowed following an amendment to the law itself, SGOs were advertising private school vouchers to those in non-failing school districts. In 2016, only 43 percent of those provided SGO scholarships were actually zoned for failing schools. Even further, the only research looking at the academic benefit of students receiving scholarships through the program in Alabama isn’t conclusive — and isn’t promising for the legacy of the Accountability Act. A 2016 University of Alabama report compared test results of students in the program to comparable students in public schools and found that while there was “no cohesive pattern” in score differences, “there were very few
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subject areas in which more than 50 percent of the students met proficiency standards for either group of students.” Overall, the report’s main observations were that not enough information was made available under the law to compare public school students to those granted funds by SGOs — a problem in and of itself — and that the program had not had time to produce enough data for analysis. In other states, though, the first few waves of academic research looking at similar programs have been published, and their results are clearer: In most cases, students who receive funding to attend private schools do worse than their public school counterparts, especially in math. New Orleans’ Education Research Alliance released a study of the first two years of a similar Louisiana program that concluded “the program had a negative impact on participating students’ academic achievement … most clearly in math.” Students who had been in the 50th percentile of math skills before the program, once transferred to a private school scored in the 26th percentile just a year later. Another study by the right-wing Thomas Fordham Institute — which generally supports “school choice” — said in a study that “students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers.” Despite the numbers in Alabama and research nationwide, though, Sen. Marsh is still set on expanding portions of the law. SB123 would allow utilities with over $100,000 in utility gross receipts tax liability to get credits toward the program. Currently the revenue derived from that tax benefits the mental health fund and the Education Trust Fund. The bill also expands the audit requirement for SGOs — definitely a good thing — but unacceptably and without explanation removes a requirement that the auditor “certify that the [SGO] report is free of material misstatements.” Marsh has pushed back against criticism of the legislation, though, saying that the bill will benefit the children receiving the scholarships — an assertion not backed up by the research, but certainly backed up by many of his Republican colleagues in the State House. “I’m not focused on a few,” Marsh said. “We’ve got a focus on everybody. But you can’t forget the few.” Pam Doyle, the president of the Alabama Association of School Boards, has a different perspective than Marsh: that when you fund public schools, everyone benefits, even the few. “Education dollars are diverted to private schools, who don’t maintain the same fiscal accountability public schools are required to do,” Doyle recently said. “Alabama can’t afford to fund two school systems, one public and one private.”
COMMENTARY | THE BELTWAY BEAT
What’s up with these contentious congressional town halls? BY JEFF POOR/COLUMNIST/JEFFREYPOOR@GMAIL.COM
ongressional town hall meetings in the post-Trump era are the media’s latest fascination. “Republicans face outrage at town halls” read one headline from the Associated Press. “GOP reps face town hall protests” said another from ABC News. Both are representative of the media’s latest obsession and determination: That there is a massive backlash against the GOP for its support of Trump. Some angry people have been attending town halls hosted by Republican members of Congress. But the vocal anger of hundreds (or maybe low thousands) does not mean there is widespread Trump-instigated pandemonium throughout Republican-held states and congressional districts. Last week, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, faced an angry crowd at his town hall meeting in the northwestern Arkansas hamlet of Springdale. Some estimates had the crowd attending the event at 1,000 people. It was indeed a rough crowd. One 7-year-old boy in attendance implored Cotton not to take funding away from PBS Kids to spend on a border wall. Others booed and yelled overused slogans like, “You work for us!” The left-leaning cable news networks loved it. They went live to the town hall with screeching chyrons: “LIVE: ANGRY VOTERS ERUPT AT REPUBLICAN TOWN HALL.” This headline, however, is hardly a reflection of the political climate in Republican precincts. Cotton won Arkansas in 2014 by a 17-point margin over an incumbent Democrat. He is in no danger of losing his United States Senate seat in 2020. Further, Arkansas has been trending Republican the last several election cycles. So what is the media’s aim? Democrats cannot beat Cotton at the ballot box. As of now, it would be a frivolous and laughable effort. It is all about the optics, with the goal of putting as much doubt about Trump’s popularity as possible in the minds of Republican lawmakers and implicitly will them to obstruct the administration’s agenda. Forty-five miles to Mobile’s east is Florida’s first congressional district, now held by freshman Rep. Matt Gaetz. Last Thursday, Gaetz faced a similar situation at the spree of town halls he held. At each event, protesters greeted him with their homemade signs, jeering and chanting, “Your last term, your last term.” In all, Gaetz held five events in one day. Protesters met him at every stop. The problem was, after the first couple of stops, it became clear it was the same group of protesters following him around. At times it might have topped 100 individuals with their signs demanding Obamacare be preserved, questioning whether Gaetz thought Trump should release his tax returns, or chants of “EPA, EPA,” objecting to Gaetz’s effort to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. But also similar to Tom Cotton, Gaetz won his congressional race with 69 percent of the vote. A Democrat has not held that seat since
Earl Hutto retired and Joe Scarborough won the seat in the 1994 Republican revolution election. There is not a natural groundswell of Republican opposition due to Trump’s election. Rather, liberal activists are playing to the cameras to create a perception of widespread disapproval. That is not to say these people at the town halls protesting are paid actors. Most are sincere in their beliefs. Those behind the organizational efforts are likely paid, but most are activists that have an emotional response to our current politics. Let’s face it: If you are a dedicated liberal activist, it has been a pretty rough year. You likely loved Bernie Sanders. You had five different Bernie stickers on your late-model Honda Accord. You went to rallies. You might have even donated some money. But you wound up getting Hillary Clinton. On Election Day, even if you lived in a state that had no chance of going blue, you went and you pulled the lever for Clinton. Then later that night, the unthinkable happened. The Cheetos-colored vulgarian from Queens won the election. How could that possibly happen? Everyone on the news said there was no chance Trump could be elected. There has to be something else at play! The alt-right? The Russians? And the emotional response builds off of that. Next thing you know, you’re chasing a backbencher member of Congress around his district demanding he hold Trump accountable. That is largely what is behind the frenzy you see on TV at these town halls — a sincere yet extremely active vocal minority and their collective visceral reaction to Trump. Some conservatives engaged in this behavior immediately following former President Barack Obama’s election. If you go back and trace the whole Tea Party phenomenon, it had its first big moment on Tax Day, April 15, 2009. Later there were some very boisterous town hall meetings, especially for Democrats in swing states. The cameras were there as well, but not to create the perception there was righteous outrage at Obama. Instead, it was to make us think the unhinged right — motivated by racist tendencies against the first black president — were misbehaving. On Monday, March 6, at 5:30 p.m., Rep. Bradley Byrne will be hosting a town hall meeting at the Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center on Dauphin Street in midtown Mobile. It is a certainty that those people who were upset by Trump’s election will be there to make their voices heard. If you go, look around and take note of the most vocal people in the room. They will probably be a majority of the attendees. Compare what you might see at that event to what you know about Mobile and what you have seen and heard with your eyes away from the televisions and national headlines of the newspaper. Then you will realize what this is really all about.
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BUSINESS | THE REAL DEAL
MAAS opens $13M hangar at Brookley BY RON SIVAK/COLUMNIST/BUSINESS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
ccording to Geoff Myrick, the new North American COO for Dublin, Ireland-based MAAS Aviation, some $13 million was invested in the company’s recently opened single-hangar, twin-bay, environmentally controlled maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industrial facility at the Brookley Aeroplex. The 80,000-square-foot paint shop is configured to support dual lines of narrow-body aircraft as a vendor for the Airbus A321 line, manufactured in Mobile. The new paint shop utilizes MAAS Aviation’s proprietary systems in the areas of building management, aircraft docking and quality management. Onsite capabilities include chemical stripping, sanding and external aircraft repainting, production of customer livery spray masks, decals, technical lettering and mandatory markings, and engineering and maintenance support in cooperation with local partner VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering. Myrick’s duties will include the oversight of quality and production, organizational management, sales and customer relationship development for MAAS. “Airbus and VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering have been vital partners for MAAS Aviation, and we want to continue to build on the foundational relationships we have established,” he said. A Fairhope native and current resident, Myrick graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He later picked up an MBA from the University of South Alabama while moving up the ladder in his aviation career. Prior to joining MAAS, Myrick served as vice president of sales for Certified Aviation Services LLC. MAAS Aviation Brookley successfully delivered 19 completed original equipment manufacturer (OEM) aircraft in 2016, a number that reportedly will increase significantly in 2017 because of increases in Airbus manufacturing output and capacity arising from the new MRO facility. Once at
full capacity, the company projects its United States operations will account for about half of its business. The multinational firm currently operates facilities in Maastricht and Woensdrecht in The Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; and Mobile, bringing the total number of painting facilities globally to eight. According to Myrick, the local site now employs 52 full-time workers. Twenty-four are local hires sourced as a direct result of the new MRO facility, illustrating firsthand the “Airbus effect” moving into 2017. Mobile Works and Bishop State were heavily involved in the recruiting, interviewing and training process for MAAS Aviation. Two classes of 12 were trained for 12 weeks at Bishop State prior to travel to Europe for an additional four to eight weeks of hands-on training. MAAS Aviation has defined, formal, in-house training programs and currently employs more than 100 skilled paint technicians globally. To date, the company has painted 3,600 aircraft of all types and is an Airbus OEM-qualified tier 1 supplier worldwide. The company is also certified to EN 9100 Revision C aerospace quality standards and maintains ISO 9001 and ISO14001 certifications.
Commercial real estate moves
White-Spunner Construction is actively completing 154,000 square feet of retail and dining space for the first phase of OWA, a new entertainment project in Foley recently announced by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. White-Spunner Construction’s role in the first phase of the project will focus on retail shops and restaurants. The first phase of the more than $500 million project is set to be complete this summer and is expected to cost approximately $240 million. Future plans for other phases of OWA call for a water park, additional hotels and a resortlevel RV park.
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When completed, the development is expected to generate nearly 3,500 jobs (both direct and indirect) and bring in an additional one million visitors a year to the area. Located just off the Foley Beach Express and County Road 20, OWA is nine miles from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Plans call for the development to include three themed districts offering shopping, dining and other entertainment for all ages. The location is near the city of Foley’s nearly complete sports tourism complex with 16 multipurpose fields. A 90,000-square-foot event center will make it even more appealing to traveling sports teams and families. The 8,800-square-foot historic Hannah Houses, located at the corner of N. Conception and Saint Louis streets inside the De Tonti Square Historic District, were recently acquired by Lafayette Land Co. Inc., according to Bob Isakson, company president and project program manager. The properties are directly across from the New Federal Courthouse and adjacent to the new Automobile Alley Historic District. Lafayette Land plans to restore the buildings toward the end of this year and offer them for lease as offices and residential spaces. Heather Isakson Huffman with NAI-Mobile is leasing manager on the project. For more information, contact Lafayette Land Co. Guggenheim Partners has purchased 1.63 acres at 24151 Perdido Beach Blvd. in Orange Beach, adjacent to the Ruby Slipper Café. Construction is underway to develop the site as Flipdaddy’s, a gourmet hamburger and craft beer restaurant. Jeff Barnes and Kennedy Striplin of Stirling Properties represented Guggenheim in the transaction. Michael Carro of SVN worked for the seller. GSPS Marine & Yacht Sales has leased 1,351 square feet of retail space at The Wharf of Orange Beach for a new sales office, to open this spring. The new office will be located on the second floor of the mixed-use project in Suite F-201. Jeff Barnes with Stirling Properties handled the transaction. A&O Healthcare Management LLC has leased some 1,750 square feet of office space at 4358 Midmost Drive in Mobile, with plans to open in early March. Jill Meeks with Stirling Properties managed the transaction. Bryant Bank will open a new branch at 24847 Commercial Ave. in Orange Beach after renovating the property. The current tenant is Orange Beach Lifestyle and Performance Medicine. Renovations are expected to be complete at the end of April for a targeted grand opening in May. Baldwin County native Doug Sizemore, senior vice president of commercial lending, has been tapped to oversee the new location. Out-of-town investors recently paid $285,000 for Bay Villa Apartments, an eight- unit, four-building complex encompassing some 6,180 square feet and located in Bay Minette. David Monroe with Beck Partners CRE represented the seller; Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty worked for the buyer. Premier Apartment Services has been selected as the property manager for the complex. Papa Murphy’s recently opened a new 1400-square-foot restaurant at 7820 Moffett Road in Semmes, according to Buff Teague with JLL, who represented the tenant.
CUISINE THE DISH
Let the Lent begin! BY ANDY MACDONALD/CUISINE EDITOR | FATMANSQUEEZE@COMCAST.NET
Photos | Zapps.com Fritolay.com
“I’M NOT GIVING UP PUSH-UPS OR EXERCISE. I’M GOING WITH FOOD THAT SINGS TO ME LIKE SIRENS OF THE SEA. I’M GIVING UP POTATO CHIPS.” “REGULAR POTATO CHIPS ARE HEAVEN. LAY’S ORIGINAL MAY BE THE BEST. PRINGLES ARE ADDICTIVE. ZAPP’S HAVE THE CRAWTATER MARKET CORNERED. IF IT’S MADE FROM POTATOES, I WILL EAT IT.”
weakness. I excel at potato chips. Sacrificing for Lent needs to be for personal reasons, I guess. grew up in a small church just outside the city limits of the My chip fast will include all of my favorites. Here is the I have a friend who gives up drinking just to prove to himself charming little town of Laurel, Mississippi. The First Baptist list you should hold me to. Snatch them from my greasy hands that he can. He has a fairly boring St. Patrick’s Day, but his EasChurch of Shady Grove was where I spent my Sunday mornshould I fall off the wagon. ter weekend is a riot. Some people use it as a chance to restart ings and Wednesday nights, while on weekdays I wandered Regular potato chips are Heaven. Lay’s original may be the those routinely neglected New Year’s resolutions by giving up through the halls and playgrounds of St. John’s Day School, best. Pringles are addictive. Zapp’s have the crawtater market sugar or fast food or whatever deprivation is certain to result in whose affiliation with the Episcopal Church often sent mixed cornered. If it’s made from potatoes, I will eat it. weight loss. signals during the structuring of my formative years. Hot Fries. Wow, I wish I didn’t have to include these. Andy It can be religious or secular. It can be spiritual or for your I’m certain both of these molded me for the better in some Capp’s are kryptonite with just the right amount of heat. Chester health. Either way, I do think sacrifice is a great way to clear your way, but to add more confusion, the youth group of First Preshead and do yourself a favor every once in awhile. I’ve seen some Cheetah’s Flaming Hot Fries deliver more heat but remain a byterian joined forces with the Episcopalians and I found myself substitution for Andy Capp’s. fast in honor of an event or a loved one. I’ve seen others fast simwith my friends on Sunday evenings in some sort of interfaith Corn chips or tortilla chips are on the celebration where we ate spaghetti and do-not-consume list. First, Doritos are watched plenty of movies, sparing no hard enough to bid farewell, but this will expense at the video store to keep us adoTHEN ONE DAY A GIRL TOLD ME SHE WAS GIVING UP KETCHUP FOR LENT. hurt the most in that we eat a lot of Mexilescents off the mean streets of our sleepy can food. Guacamole with a fork, salsa sawmill town. THAT HIT ME LIKE A TON OF TOMATOES. THE HORROR! KETCHUP? WHO with a straw and I suppose hard taco shells I vaguely remember some of my friends are close enough to be condemned, right? giving up things for Lent. I never did. My COULD GO THAT MANY DAYS WITH DRY FRENCH FRIES AND HAMBURGERS? WHAT Pig skins, pork rinds and cracklings are parents never stressed that we should. It ABOUT PIZZA? WAS PIZZA SAUCE CONSIDERED KETCHUP? HOW ABOUT SPAGHETTI technically not chips in the carbohydrate was a bit of a foreign concept that wasn’t discussed at our dinner table, so it had no SAUCE? IF SO, WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WILL THIS GIRL EAT AT OUR sense of the word, but they have to be out of my life for six weeks. The cracklings bearing on my behavior from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Someone might mention NEXT SUNDAY EVENING’S INTERFAITH YOUTH GROUP? THEY DON’T KEEP THE SAUCE are the hardest to let go. I love the red pepper seasoning so much that I open the catechism or Lent, and I was thankful that I AND THE NOODLES SEPARATE, SO I GUESSED SHE’D HAVE TO MAKE A MEAL OF bag from the bottom so the settlement has had just the right amount of churching that I the greatest impact. didn’t have to pay attention to the rest of the GARLIC BREAD AND BROWNIES.” So, what am I planning on replacing conversation. my salty snack cravings with? Granola. Then one day a girl told me she was You can’t take that away from me. I’m giving up ketchup for Lent. That hit me like currently experimenting with making granola versus the expenply out of the “high” it gives them. Either way it gets you doing a ton of tomatoes. The horror! Ketchup? Who could go that many sive store-bought kind. something you wouldn’t ordinarily do, and I like that. days with dry French fries and hamburgers? What about pizza? Cashews, sunflower seeds and almonds with rolled oats So, you may wonder what it is I am giving up for Lent. Well, Was pizza sauce considered ketchup? How about spaghetti sauce? suit my need for a salty chip substitute. I prefer this to sweeter as I see it the origins of Lent are food-related fasts, and since this If so, what in the name of all that is holy will this girl eat at our recipes, though I do add a bit of honey with olive oil. Bake is a food-related column, I may as well stick to that. I’m not givnext Sunday evening’s interfaith youth group? They don’t keep whatever ingredients you prefer on a cookie sheet at 300 F., stiring up push-ups or exercise. I’m going with food that sings to me the sauce and the noodles separate, so I guessed she’d have to ring every 15 minutes for an hour. like sirens of the sea. I’m giving up potato chips. make a meal of garlic bread and brownies. If you like dried fruit, such as raisins or apricots, be sure Chips in general, to be clearer. I work a fairly fast-paced Giving up ketchup did not seem like the healthiest of choices. to add them in the cooling phase of this process. For me, I’m schedule these days and am right next to a Kangaroo gas station. Therefore, I never really gave the Lent sacrifice much thought sticking to a little sea salt and a dash of cayenne to keep the kids When I get 15 minutes for a quick bite but left the lunch pail at other than that there were as many people who considered themaway from my creation. Mmmm, I can’t wait for a handful of the house, you can guess what it is I reach for. Salty snacks in selves religious and did not sacrifice as there were people who granola between students. Next year I’m giving up ketchup. a bag half full of air are not my weakness. Trigonometry is my weren’t religious at all that did.
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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 ($)
BAR FOOD 271 Dauphin St • 438-9585
CHICKEN FINGERS, SALAD & SANDWICHES.
16 | L AG N I A P P E | M a r c h 2 , 2 0 1 7 - M a r c h 8 , 2 0 1 7
THAI FARE AND SUSHI 2000 Airport Blvd. • 478-9888
A TAPAS RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS 64 S. Water St. • 438-4000
HIBACHI GRILL & ASIAN CUISINE. 309 Bel Air Blvd • 470-8033
FOOD, WINE AND MORE. 5150 Old Shell Rd. • 341-1497
2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062
WINE BAR, CRAFT BEERS & BISTRO 6808 Airport Blvd. • 343-3555
QUALITY FOOD, EXCELLENT SERVICE 5045 Cottage Hill Rd. • 607-6454
MOE’S ORIGINAL BAR B QUE ($) 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 ($-$$)
CUISINE OF INDIA ($$)
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 ($-$$)
ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL ($$)
OLÉ MI AMIGO! AZTECAS ($-$$)
TASTE OF MEXICO 5452 Hwy 90 W • 661-5509
CAFÉ DEL RIO ($-$$)
MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722
CINCO DE MAYO ($) MEXICAN CUISINE 260 Azalea Rd. • 375-1095
DAUPHIN ST. TAQUERIA ($) ENCHILADAS, TACOS, & AUTHENTIC FARE. 661 Dauphin St. • 432-2453
LOS ARCOS ($)
EXOTIC CUISINE AND SUSHI
STALLA ($$) ITALIAN COOKING
BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, LATE NIGHT
777 Beach Blvd.Biloxi • 877-877-6256
HALF SHELL OYSTER HOUSE ($-$$) SEAFOOD
BEACH BLVD STEAMER ($) CARTER GREEN STEAKHOUSE ($$-$$$) RICH TRADITIONS, STEAK, SEAFOOD
C&G GRILLE ($)
LARGE BREAKFAST, LUNCH OR DINNER MENU.
158 Howard Ave. Biloxi • 800-725-2239
STEAKS, SEAFOOD, FINE WINE
PLACE BUFFET ($-$$) INTERACTIVE ASIAN DINING
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE ($$$)
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE. 4633 Airport Blvd. • 342-5553
MARIA BONITA AGAVE BAR & GRILL ($-$$)
WINGS, PO-BOYS, BURGERS. 210 Eastern Shore Center, Hwy. 98 • 929-0002
HEARTY MEXICAN FARE 736 holcombe Ave.• 473-0413
TRATTORIA PIZZA & ITALIAN ($$)
HOMEMADE PASTAS & PIZZAS MADE DAILY. 5901 Old Shell Rd. • 342-3677
3300 W. Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 877-774-8439
LA COCINA ($)
GAMBINO’S ITALIAN GRILL ($)
FRESH CUISINE NIGHTLY ON MENU. 1709 Main St., Daphne • 626-6082
BURGER, WINGS, PIZZA
STACKED GRILL ($-$$)
Springdale Mall 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556
VIA EMILIA ($$)
COAST RESTAURANT ($-$$)
CASUAL & RELAXING, EXTENSIVE MENU.
HARD ROCK CAFÉ ($)
OLÉ MI AMIGO ($-$$)
INTERACTIVE ASIAN DINING
QUAINT MEXICAN RESTAURANT. 5556 Old Shell Rd. • 345-7484
MEXICAN CUISINE. 3977 Gov’t Blvd. • 660-4970
ITALIAN FOOD & PIZZAS. 11311 US HIghway 31 Spanish Fort• 375-0076
FINE DINING ESTABLISHMENT.
BR PRIME ($$-$$$)
HARD ROCK CASINO:
TASTE OF MEXICO 880 Schillinger Rd. S. • 633-6122 5805 US 90 • 653-9163
SEAFOOD, STEAKS, WINE
HIGH TIDE CAFÉ ($)
HACIENDA SAN MIGUEL ($-$$)
OUTSTANDING MEXICAN CUISINE. 2066 Old Shell Rd. • 378-8621
875 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 888-952-2582
TERRACE CAFE ($)
TAMARA’S BAR & GRILL ($)
ITALIAN, STEAKS & SEAFOOD. 18 Laurel Ave. Fairhope • 990-0995
GAMBINO BROTHERS ($) HOMEMADE PASTAS & SANDWICHES. 873 Hillcrest Ave. • 344-8115
NO GAMBLING CASINO FARE
LATIN AMERICAN FOOD 211 Dauphin St. • 375-1076
TAQUERIA MEXICO ($-$$) AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FLAVOR. 3733 Airport Blvd. • 414-4496
AMERICAN FARE & ROCKIN’ MEMORABILIA.
EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE & TASTE.
SATISFACTION ($-$$) SOUTHERN FAVORITES BUFFET
HARRAH’S GULF COAST:
280 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 288-436-2946
MAGNOLIA HOUSE ($$-$$$) FINE DINING, SEAFOOD AND STEAKS
FLAVORS BUFFET ($-$$) ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET
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
M a r c h 2 , 2 0 1 7 - M a r c h 8 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 17
CUISINE | THE BEER PROFESSOR
Bottle conditioned on the Boulevard BY BY TOM WARD/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
WORD OF MOUTH
Wine tasting a smash hit BY ANDY MACDONALD
This past week Red or White hosted an amazing wine tasting featuring samples from 10 different Oregon wineries, proving that pinot noir from the Willamette Valley is nowhere near losing steam. There were several rosés that held our attention as well, and it was nice to get a tour of the “other” wine country, all in our own backyard. Did I mention the food? There was a Mediterranean table with hummus and amazing lamb, another with Murder Point oysters and shrimp, Nashville-style hot chicken on a stick and some incredible donuts and indescribable cookie bits for dessert. Any or all of these items could hold stellar permanent menu spots. Keep your eyes peeled for the next event by following Red or White on Instagram and Facebook.
hoppy flavor and not much aftertaste. Like all of Boulevard’s beers, they are bottle conditioned, meaning that, unlike most beers you find today, they are not artificially — or “force” — carbonated by having CO2 injected into the beer. Instead they are naturally carbonated by having a small amount of active yeast and sugar added to the beer when it is bottled. This process causes what is, in effect, a second fermentation inside the bottle, and usually results in both gentler carbonation and a richer flavor. Because the fermentation takes place in the bottle, bottleconditioned beers also stay fresh longer than most beers, and actually improve with age like wine. While I’m not sure I’m willing (or patient enough) to age my beer, a number of breweries now produce bottle-aged beers that actually come packaged in bottles that look more suited for wine than beer — some even with corks! Unfortunately, a number of them are priced like wine as well, some at $11 and $12 a pop. I chose to sample a more reasonably priced (at $7.99) Alabama-brewed option, Madison’s Blue Pants Brewery’s Brettanomyces Fermented IPA. I’ve had Blue Pants’ American Amber before, and liked it a good deal, so I was looking forward to the bottle-fermented IPA. When I popped the cap, however, I was rewarded with an explosion of foam, like a 6th grade volcano science fair project gone awry. I don’t know if I didn’t let the beer age long enough, or if they left too much yeast in the bottle, but it was a mess. Once the foam subsided and I cleaned up, I had about half a bottle left. The resulting IPA was OK — thin for an IPA and not nearly worth all the trouble to get to it.
Windmill Market has new additions coming soon
Fairhope’s Windmill Market has some new tenants. Along with Will Hughes Catering and Market and Mary Ann’s Deli, there will soon be a new game in town with The Ox Kitchen. Described as “New Southern Casual,” guests can prepare their taste buds for fried oyster sandwiches, loaded salads and the like. Expect great things from owner Bo Hamilton (formerly of Thyme) and his crew. It’s just good food and no bull. We will let you know as soon as it opens.
Pondera in Lillian grand opening March 1-5
Fans of the Pondera Plantation in Lillian should rest easy knowing the restaurant is under new management and plans a five-day grand opening celebration March 1-5. The steak and seafood restaurant at 33802
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spent six years living in Kansas City at a time when the craft brewing movement was just taking off. It was a great city for experiencing a bunch of good beers from throughout the Midwest, as both bars and grocery stores carried a wide variety of brands and styles of beer. There were also a number of brewpubs in town, where you could get a good burger and a fresh beer in your own neighborhood. Apart from the small brewpubs, during the time I lived there Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Co. was the only real brewery in the city. Its beers were a source of civic pride and found on tap at virtually every restaurant and bar. Bottles of its Unfiltered Wheat seemed to be in everyone’s fridge. Founded in 1989, Boulevard is now available in 31 states. It produces 10 different beers year round and numerous seasonal styles every year. Moving back to Mobile a decade ago, I was disappointed — but not surprised — that I could not find Boulevard’s Bully Porter, Pale Ale or Unfiltered Wheat (still one of my alltime favorites) in our area, as it was still a regional brewery. However, in the past two years or so, as Boulevard got bigger and our own beer scene improved greatly, I’ve been happily surprised to occasionally find different styles of Boulevard on tap in and around Mobile. Recently I was excited to find Boulevard’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale and The Calling IPA, neither of which I’d ever tried, in bottles in local grocery stores. The Calling IPA was excellent, a lighter IPA with very little head and hints of fruit in the finish. The Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale tasted very much like a lighter European ale, almost like a saison — clean, with a nice,
FOUNDED IN 1989, BOULEVARD IS NOW AVAILABLE IN 31 STATES. IT PRODUCES 10 DIFFERENT BEERS YEAR ROUND AND NUMEROUS SEASONAL STYLES EVERY YEAR.
U.S. Highway 98 is a log cabin-style structure that provides diners with an “1800s” atmosphere that is a little Southern, a little Western and a little nautical. It opened in 2016 but subsequently shut down and is set to reopen with a new team. It may be interesting to take a ride to Elberta and hang a left toward the place that has been called, “part dining experience, part museum.” “It’s a vintage and antique showcase open for public viewing during dining hours,” says Ron Halford, executive manager. The restaurant aims to use local produce and products from surrounding farms and waterways. “We want to embrace the farm-to-table concept by providing our customers fresh, seasonal foods supplied by nearby communities,” adds Adam Halford, general manager. Visit www.ponderaplantation.com for more details.
Fabled Brew gets Fairhope coffee lovers wired
When owner Darryl Lindsay told me Fabled Brew was known as the third-coolest coffee shop in Alabama by besthingsal. com, my ears perked up. Lattes with organic syrups, milk and espresso contribute to that honor, but what sealed the deal for the No. 3 listing could have been the Oublies. Organic yogurt, gluten-free cookies and breads, you’ve had things of that nature. But the Oublie is Fabled Brew’s signature creation. Light, flaky dough stuffed with goodies such as Conecuh sausage, organic spinach and artichokes, ham and cheese, strawberries and cream cheese, or bananas and Nutella really woke me up. Run, don’t walk to 21180-B State Highway 181, next to Wal-Mart, for the coffee they claim is a story in every cup. Recycle!
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The bond, the bid and the blogger: What all the fuss is about in BY JANE NICHOLES/REPORTER
t’s a one-runway municipal airport named after a beloved former congressman. It has an aviation training academy and a lot of potential to attract suppliers to the massive Airbus assembly operation in Mobile. Yet the H.L. “Sonny” Callahan Airport has become a political football in Fairhope. • Mayor Karin Wilson is fighting with the City Council and the Airport Authority to get control of the airport for the city, focusing on a multi-million-dollar debt incurred by the authority but being carried by the city. • A local blogger, Paul Ripp, has raised a ruckus about the award of a contract for a new hangar to an authority board member. While the board maintains the award was validated by the Alabama Ethics Commission, Ripp says he has filed complaints with the state Attorney General’s office, the United States Attorney’s office in Mobile, the 28th Judicial Circuit and the FBI. Reams of documents have been collected, posted and interpreted in different ways. Public meetings have turned into shouting matches. Last week Wilson compiled and handed out a timeline of events to the authority and members of the news media before posting about it on her Facebook page. On Friday the Airport Authority published its own timeline of events with the help of an attorney hired specifically because of Ripp. In trying to follow recent events, it’s important to keep in mind that there are two different controversies involving the airport. Also, readers who want more information may peruse different points of view and related documents at these locations in cyberspace: www.fairhopeairport.com; the Facebook page of Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama; www.rippreport.com; the Facebook page of The Ripp Report; and Dean Mosher’s YouTube video.
The bond issue
Wilson took office Nov. 7. On Nov. 23, she notified the Airport Authority that she wanted to exercise a clause in a funding agreement between the city and the Airport Authority that let the city take back land purchased by the authority because it had not paid off by March 2012 the principal on an $8.85 million loan. Wilson had been asking questions since her election that August over longtime incumbent Tim Kant. Some $7.4 million remains to be paid. She also let the authority know she wanted to be a part of any refinancing process. At a town hall meeting recently, Wilson said nobody knew the city was carrying the debt and there was no plan for paying it off. “We have been paying the airport more than we have appropriated for our five public schools total. That’s a problem,” she said. Her announcement at a council meet-
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ing that the city would take the land, “was something I wanted to do to wake everybody up.” But the debt shouldn’t have been a surprise, said Chuck Zunk, former chairman of the Airport Authority. Until 2007, Zunk said, the city owned the airport. A board functioned as an advisory committee, and Zunk was a member. The owner of a 257-acre horseshoe of land surrounding the airport approached Kant and then-Councilman Mike Ford about whether the city was interested in buying the property. The land on the east side of the existing airport was ideal for expansion, Zunk said. “The land on the west side was land that the airport didn’t really want. But the city wanted it because the mayor and the council at that time saw that the land could eventually be used for an industrial development area that they had been planning for some time, and never had been able to put together the money to purchase the land.” The formation of the Airport Authority was “a means to an end,” Zunk said. The authority, a municipal corporation, bought the land and the city guaranteed the loan. Although Wilson now says the money owed makes up 21 percent of Fairhope’s debt service, Zunk said the original idea was to keep the money off the city’s books. “There was hardly any secret about it. It was all done in council meetings and a lot of discussion about it was made,” Zunk said. The east side of the property is being developed through a Federal Aviation Administration grant program, he said, and over time the FAA will reimburse the airport for the land. “The only real issue is the land on the west side, which has not developed as quickly as anybody thought, primarily because of the depression we went through in 2008, ‘09 and ‘10.” Personally, said Zunk, he’s not concerned about who owns the land on the west side. “If the city wants it back and is willing to take the debt along with it, then that’s certainly fine,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. The land on the east side is committed to the development of the airport and will be paid for anyhow by the federal government. “Again, I’m not sure why all the argument’s going on. It’s an argument about nothing.” What disturbs Zunk are questions being asked about his own departure from the Airport Authority board in 2015. Of seven board members, Zunk and two others announced their intentions to resign in March 2015. They originally gave six months’ notice, although they actually left the board a few weeks earlier. At about the same time that summer, the attorney for the authority, David Bagwell, retired from practicing law.
“The way it’s being portrayed is that it was a sudden and secret mass resignation, which is just simply not true,” Zunk said. Zunk, the chairman, had been on the board since 2007, devoting 20 to 30 hours a week to a volunteer job. He and his wife wanted to spend time with his grandchildren, who live out of town. “We had accomplished quite a bit,” Zunk said. “Most importantly, we had accomplished finally finishing up the vocational school, which took a lot of energy out of everybody. We thought it was time to retire and so we gave everybody six months’ notice.” Wilson’s attempt to get control of the airport land failed when the City Council refused to authorize the takeover. Since then she has continued to object to how the Airport Authority has been handling the refinancing process. She is also preparing to nominate three replacements for three board members whose terms expire March 1, and has threatened to remove current chairman Joe McEnerney “for cause,” though it is unclear whether that is possible. Wilson did not respond to a request for an interview for this story. Based on her own timeline and Facebook posting, Wilson is highly critical of McEnerney’s handling of an initial RFP, or request for proposals, from banks interested in refinancing the roughly $7.4 million debt. She has said that McEnerney allowed the initial proposals to expire and cost the city money. “I was not aware of these expirations until I started to research the details more when accusations surfaced that I was responsible for costing the city money with delays,” Wilson wrote on Facebook. Board member Vincent Boothe has said the mayor delayed the process and cost the city some $160,000 because of rising interest rates. Wilson has vehemently denied being responsible. McEnerney said, “I know it wasn’t my fault. My board members know it wasn’t my fault.” The chairman said he understands Wilson wanted to be included in all consideration of refinancing in August, September and October, but she had not yet taken office. “Mayor Kant was the mayor until November. We worked with him to get this done,” McEnerney said. Airport board meeting minutes for November reflect Wilson asking a board member to postpone a vote on the bond issue, he said. A few days later, he said, he received an email from City Attorney Marion “Tut” Wynne saying Wilson would assume control of the land on behalf of the city. For those reasons, McEnerney said he felt he couldn’t move forward with the RFPs. Last week, the Airport Authority selected Bryant Bank to handle the refinancing of $7.4 million at a fixed interest rate of 2.02 percent for seven years. McEnerney said the RFPs that expired in November offered lower interest rates.
The bid and the blogger
In sorting out the conflict between the Fairhope Airport Authority and blogger Paul Ripp, it’s easy to get lost in the details of hangar leasing and aviation fuel costs. The basic question is this: Was it OK to award the contract to build a new hangar to an authority board member? The Alabama Ethics Commission says yes. Ripp says no. In the opinion of the Ethics Commission, as long as board member Ray Hix won the lease for his company without having inside information about the bidding process, it’s OK. The commission has noted that Hix did not attend meetings when the lease was discussed and did not vote on it. It has consistently issued similar opinions involving other agencies, including a ruling that a county commissioner could do business with the county. Ripp, a frequent critic of Fairhope government who publishes The Ripp Report online, insists that the Ethics Commission did not have all the facts when it issued its advisory opinion early last year. He maintains the lease should never have gone to a board member and that City Council President Jack Burrell, who is the council’s liaison to the authority and helped review the bids, should not have been involved.
Photos/ Daniel Anderson
Burrell has repeatedly denied doing anything that was inappropriate, as has McEnerney. Ripp has done extensive research into authority records and compiled a thick stack of documents. So far, the commission and the Attorney General’s office have acknowledged receiving his latest complaint, Ripp told Lagniappe. Also asking questions has been Dean Mosher, an artist and historian in Fairhope who took to YouTube with several specific inquiries for the authority. That video has been viewed around 1,800 times. Meanwhile, on the grounds that an email sent by Ripp could be interpreted as a threat, board members voted to hire an attorney to investigate Ripp. “The Ripp Report has no confidence in the Alabama Ethics Commission and appeals to your authority for an independent investigation in what we allege is criminal activity,” Ripp wrote in his complaint. A couple of private hangars are under construction at the airport. One of them is being built by Mid-Bay Air LLC of Daphne, of which Hix is part owner with Fairhope Municipal Judge Haymes Snedeker. Hix was appointed to the Airport Authority in April 2015. Though both Hix and Snedeker are lawyers, Hix said, they are mainly involved in development and commercial construction on a national level. Hix said he personally has been flying planes since 1994. With 40 employees working around the country, Hix said having private planes makes Hix Snedeker Companies more competitive and allows the employees to stay located in the Daphne-Fairhope area. The hangar will hold
three planes, one belonging to the company, a second to another owner and a third that was once owned by the company and in which a half interest is being bought back. Hix said he’s well aware of the allegations that have been made but that he moved to the Eastern Shore after graduation from law school and started the business from scratch. “The notion that I’m some sort of connected individual -- I’m not from here,” Hix said. A previous negotiation with another company to build the hangar had fallen through. In September 2015 the authority decided to send out RFPs for the hangar and a fuel farm. The winning bidder would construct the hangar and pay a ground lease fee for some 25 years before the hangar itself reverts to the ownership of the authority. Mid-Bay Air was one of three bidders. According to the authority’s overview published with its timeline, Hix did not attend the September meeting. The bids came in within one-half cent of each other per square foot. The site is about 24,600 square feet. At that point, the bidders were asked for more information on their proposed ground lease rent, their estimated annual aviation fuel usage and their estimated hangar and fuel farm construction cost. “We said, look, this isn’t really what makes the airport money. What makes the airport money is the selling of fuel,” McEnerney said. “Who sells the most fuel and what is it going to cost you to build the hangar?” The airport charges an aviation fuel flowage fee of 7 cents per gallon. Mid-Bay said it
expected to use 100,000 gallons annually, far more than the other two bidders. It also offered the highest construction costs. The fuel estimates from the other two bidders were 45,000 gallons and 25,000-40,000, respectively. The authority appointed Burrell and Boothe as an ad hoc committee to review the bids. They did so over lunch at Buck’s Diner. Burrell reduced Mid-Bay’s fuel number by 15,000 gallons to be conservative, but when the numbers were crunched Mid-Bay was still 21 percent higher than the next highest bid, according to the timeline. But the contract for the hangar lease does not require Mid-Bay Air to buy so much as one gallon of fuel, McEnerney admitted. A company that would spend a large sum of money to build a hangar is likely to use that hangar and buy the fuel, he said. But when asked what binds any bidder to buying the amount of fuel it pledged to buy, McEnerney answered, “Basically, nothing.” Hix said he is confident of his fuel estimate because one of the company planes used 70,000 gallons by itself in 2016. Mid-Bay’s planes currently are housed at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley and at the Fairhope airport, he said. While the RFP process was taking place, the authority’s attorney, Joshua Myrick, asked for an informal opinion from the Ethics Commission regarding whether Hix could bid on the project as a board member. The answer was yes, but Hix could not participate in voting on the winner. When Mid-Bay was awarded the contract, it was made contingent on Hix obtaining a formal
advisory opinion from the Ethics Commission. Hix’s attorney, Dennis Bailey, sought and received a favorable opinion from the Ethics Commission. Ripp contends Bailey did not provide all the facts, and says he’s asked the authority four times to provide a copy of the letter Bailey sent to the Ethics Commission. McEnerney said he’s never seen the letter and the airport authority doesn’t have a copy. The opinion was requested by Hix personally, not the authority, he said. Construction began late on the hangar because of various issues, including getting a building permit, McEnerney said, but is now on schedule to be finished in March or April. The construction cost is now estimated at $876,000. “The Airport Authority has received nothing from the Attorney General or the Ethics Commission,” he said. “We have received no formal notification that we are under review. We proactively hired an attorney because we felt like it was important for us to get a timeline, a creditable timeline.” With the level of contention and rhetoric increasing citywide, McEnerney said the authority’s timeline was intended to answer as many questions as possible from members of the public as well as any agency that received Ripp’s complaint. He said the answers to Mosher’s inquiries should be discernible as well. Bailey helped prepare the timeline, McEnerney said. “He’s using that timeline and narrative to go the Attorney General and the Ethics Commission and everybody else that Mr. Ripp has referenced and say, ‘This is my finding,’ if you will.”
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MSO thrills with silver screen sounds BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
lance at the Mobile Symphony Orchestra’s next program and the obvious emerges: It’s perfect for contemporary tastes. Don’t make assumptions about its heft, though. “We recognize this music as new classics. This is not a pops concert. It’s relatively light but it’s not a lightweight concert. It’s full-on masterpieces of cinema, but all by American composers,” MSO General Manager J.C. Barker said. For cinema, the show’s scope is wide in chronology and genre. The oldest work is 84 years young and the most recent premiered in 2012. As far as types of films, take your pick. There’s fantasy, crime thriller, science fiction, western, suspense, horror, epic saga, even a creature feature. “Our attendance is very high, and so for this there’s been a lot of response since there are a lot of people who recognize the music from the movies. It’s an exciting program,” Barker said. The playbill reads like a survey class. Mix John Williams’ work for “The Cowboys,” “Lincoln” and “Catch Me If You Can” with Alan Silvestri’s “Back to the Future,” James Horner’s “The Wrath of Khan,” then Bernard Herrmann’s “Citizen Kane,” “North By Northwest” and “Psycho,” Max Steiner’s “King Kong” and “Gone With the Wind” and even Harold Arlen and Herbert Stothart’s “The Wizard of Oz” and it’s easy to understand the excitement. “We decided to focus on film because that, of course is the next generation of composers. Much like we had Austin Wintory last month, who has gone on into the gaming
industry, the new frontier for a lot of newer composers is film music,” Barker said. He mentioned MSO principal bassist and Patron Services and Development Assistant Taylor Hollyer as one who left Juilliard and enrolled at the University of Southern California precisely for its curriculum based around film scores. The aforementioned Wintory was drawn to USC for the same reason. Classical music fans can fall into an easy trap. In a genre that stretches back three or four centuries, the idea of “new” can vary from contemporary connotation for some. It’s all in flux. “Twentieth century music now, people talk about Schoenberg and all those composers being ‘new’ music but that music is now considered downright Romantic era. All these guys — Steiner, Herman, Silvestri, Horner, Williams — all these guys 100 years from now will be even more famous than they are now,” Barker said. How do you go about putting something like this together? It begins with guest conductor Emil de Cou. A native Californian who became conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2003, he’s led concerts at the Kennedy Center and on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. In 2005, he was tapped as NSO conductor at Wolf Trap. He also works as musical advisor to NASA and was the first musician to be awarded the agency’s Exceptional Public Achievement Medal. De Cou has appeared with MSO twice before, according to Barker, the last time in 2010.
Chamber Music hosts Escher Quartet
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FOR CINEMA, THE SHOW’S SCOPE IS WIDE IN CHRONOLOGY AND GENRE. THE OLDEST WORK IS 84 YEARS YOUNG AND THE MOST RECENT PREMIERED IN 2012. AS FAR AS TYPES OF FILMS, TAKE YOUR PICK. THERE’S FANTASY, CRIME THRILLER, SCIENCE FICTION, WESTERN, SUSPENSE, HORROR, EPIC SAGA, EVEN A CREATURE FEATURE.” Bernard Hermann and Max Steiner were naturalized Americans so they fit the requirement. Other notables like Hans Zimmer — famous enough but still German — missed the cut. Barker had high praise for John Williams’ caper flick score. Perhaps some of it is due to the clarinetist’s seat in the reed section. “’Catch Me if You Can’ had an amazing and very difficult score. It’s heavy on solo saxophone. It’s almost a saxophone concerto,” Barker said. Two shows are available. The Saturday, March 11, performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday, March 12, matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets run $15 to $75 and are available at 251-432-2010 or mobilesymphony.org. A big show with bigger expectations will stretch the confines of the Saenger Theatre stage. They need room for 82 musicians. “The audience will love this. It’s high on drama,” Barker said.
High School on Monday morning, March 6. For more information, call 25-476-8794 or go to mobilechambermusic.org.
Good things in tiny boxes
The Alabama Miniature Art Society believes scale is no impediment to quality, and displays this each year with its Spanish Moss Miniature Art Show, hosted in various venues. The 2017 incarnation will hang at Southern Art and Framing (4693 Airport Blvd.) through April 1. No artwork larger than 5 inches by 5 inches is allowed, including paintings, drawings and etchings. Magnifying glasses will be available to help viewers take in all the details. Last year’s show included 83 works. Prizes up to $300 were awarded. For more information, contact society president Roxann Dyess at email@example.com.
March Learning Lunch looks at Blakeley
The History Museum of Mobile (111 S. Royal St.) will look at the last battle of the Civil War when its Learning Lunch convenes at noon on March 8. The guest of honor is Mike Bunn, director of Blakeley State Park. Bunn will discuss the Battle of Blakeley, its role in the campaign of Mobile and the evidence that still remains at the Baldwin County site. The fort that occupied the site next to the Mobile-Tensaw Delta came under fire from invading Union forces on April 2, 1865. For a week the outmanned Confederate troops held out until 16,000 Union soldiers finally forced an end to the action. It took place just hours after Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The Learning Lunch is free. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches. For more information, call Curator of Education Jennifer Theeck at 251-301-0270 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile Chamber Music continues its superlative track record of hosting international musical stars with a visit from the Escher String Quartet on Sunday, March 5. Named after the mind-bending visual artist M.C. Escher, this New York City-based ensemble serve as Artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. How big a deal are they? They’ve played at the Louvre in Paris, the Kennedy Center, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Wigmore Hall. The day before they arrive in Mobile they will be performing at Wolf Trap just outside Washington, D.C. The Sunday show begins at 3 p.m. at the University of South Alabama’s Laidlaw Performing Arts Center. The program includes Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat Major, Webern’s “Five Pieces for Quartet” and Debussy’s Quartet in G Minor. The Escher Quartet will conduct an outreach at Murphy
“He and Scott are very good friends but one of the reasons we picked him for this concert is there is no bigger movie buff than Emil. He knows everything there is to know about movie scores. At Wolf Trap, he does a lot of film and orchestra productions with the national symphony. This is definitely his thing,” Barker said. There were a lot of email, phone calls and research between Barker, de Cou and Speck to construct the concert. “We would find a program or score we loved but then we would find out that score wasn’t written by somebody who was American. They were written by someone who was Czech or was German,” Barker said.
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BAND: A SUNDAY FIRE ALBUM RELEASE PARTY WITH SPECIAL GUESTS FALLING FOR INSANITY AND RANDOM CONFLICT DATE: FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 9 P.M. VENUE: THE BLIND MULE, 57 N. CLAIBORNE ST., 251-694-6853 TICKETS: $5 ($10 UNDER 21), AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR
ith a name inspired by its motivational practice day, A Sunday Fire has spent the past few years spreading its edgy brand of melodic pop punk around Mobile and beyond. Lagniappe caught up with frontman Chris Ruiz as A Sunday Fire was enjoying the pre-show calm before taking the stage in Macon, Georgia. While A Sunday Fire’s sound may not be as vehement as that of other punk outfits, Ruiz says the four-piece’s goal is to create a style of punk to which a wide range of listeners can relate both musically and lyrically. Ruiz says the band hopes to emphasize this goal with the release of its fivetrack EP “Mobtown Punk.” “We want people to connect with it emotionally,” Ruiz said. “Maybe you’re going through something on the album. Maybe you’re 30 years old, and it takes you back to high school, with some nostalgic value. I think that the lyrics are relatable. The music sets a really good tone for that. That’s the big goal. I want you to be able to relate to what we’re doing and feel what we’re doing.” Until “Mobtown Punk,” the group had been
performing in support of a DIY EP that Ruiz says the group actually recorded in a bathroom. For “Mobtown Punk,” the band decided to invest in a better sound, deciding to lay down tracks with Pensacola’s Alex Gibson. The group had previously tapped Gibson to collect the drum tracks for an unreleased album Ruiz describes as suffering from “issues.” “We decided to take it to the next step and get real production value,” he said. “We were impressed with how easy he was to work with and how great he was. We recorded the EP in a week, and it was a fantastic experience.” A Sunday Fire sifted through around 20 songs for the EP. While this may seem a simple task, in the coming months the band will head “up north to record at a label’s studio,” Ruiz says, so the members decided to select five tracks that would serve as an appetizer to their forthcoming full-length. Ultimately, the band chose five very differentsounding songs, with four sharing a common theme: relationships. While this might seem intentional, Ruiz says it was just a coincidence. “As far as the content, you really just write what the music dictates,” Ruiz said. “At the same time, if the music makes you feel that way, you
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BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
A Sunday Fire’s ‘Mobtown Punk’
write how you feel. It’s being authentic with yourself. We want to be authentic with everything we do. We made it a big point to push for authenticity.” “Silhouette” is definitely a variant on A Sunday Fire’s sound. The vocals shift into a seductive purr matching the sex-fueled lyrics of the song. The song’s creation was truly a group effort that began with musical influences from alt. rock’s past, Ruiz says. At the time, he was listening to classic goth rock bands such as The Smiths, Joy Division and Christian Death. Ruiz brought his ideas to his bandmates, and the group began working on the instrumentation. Ruiz says the band helped create the perfect foundation for his tribute to old-school goth. “I was really wanting to do something different and challenge myself,” Ruiz says. “I really think it came out in the song. It’s a different song vocally. I wanted to write something a little more goth influenced.” The EP’s title track is yet another tangent in sound. “Mobtown Punk” is a quick blast of furious vocals and guitars — a reflection of what Ruiz describes as “being a young person in Mobile.” He says there is a certain amount of frustration that can be experienced in the Mobile music scene, especially on the punk side of things. Ruiz says one thing that makes punk rock notable is its sense of community. However, he feels there is a “divisiveness” within Mobile’s music scene, and notes that many of their fellow punk bands tend to be possessive of their listeners. A Sunday Fire has transcended this negativity through its numerous local supporters, Ruiz says, which has led them to accept the nature of the local scene. “Once you hit that point in your life where you’re in Mobile and embrace Mobile, you hit this euphoric-type thing where you feel like you’re finally living life,” Ruiz said. “We figured out how to be happy. We know that we need to surround ourselves with good people. This city has so much to offer, and we can look to our friends for inspiration.” A Sunday Fire will use its album release party to give back to supporters. In addition to a live performance of the album’s tracks, the group will be giving copies of “Mobtown Punk” to everyone in attendance. Afterward, the band will continue to tour the Southeast. Ruiz says A Sunday Fire already has 50 shows booked through the summer. At some point, the band will also enter the studio to record its first full-length record. “The future is what we make of it,” Ruiz says. “Hopefully, everyone likes it and we play these shows and blow everyone out of the water. That’s our bread and butter. Our studio stuff is good, but it’s better live.”
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BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 7 P.M. CALLAGHAN’S IRISH SOCIAL CLUB, 916 CHARLESTON ST., Photo | Facebook | Susto
WWW.CALLAGHANSIRISHSOCIALCLUB.COM TICKETS $12, AVAILABLE AT VENUE
outhSounds Music Festival has been touted as the festival where one can witness the future of Southeastern music. Past regional performers such as St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Pollies and Banditos subsequently moved on to the national scene following SouthSounds appearances. Last year SouthSounds brought SUSTO to the Azalea City,
and since then fans have seen the band transition from regional notoriety to national prominence. Currently, SUSTO is opening for The Lumineers and Kaleo on an extensive tour through the United States and Canada, and is using a night off to return to Mobile for an intimate show with local fans. SUSTO will be promoting its latest release, “& I’m Fine Today.” This album continues to mystify critics unsure how
BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
to classify SUSTO’s sound, which is a good thing. Front man Justin Osborne’s songwriting skills have allowed him to create a lineup of songs that trip across a variety of alternative genres. Overall, “& I’m Fine” is a skillful mix of alt. rock, alt. folk and alt. country. However, the most powerful facet of this release is Osborne’s talents as an honest songwriter, focusing on lyricism that is both unique and profound.
Confess your sins
BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
Photo | Facebook | Oh Jeremiah!
aron Lewis’ career and musical style have changed greatly since his first visit to Biloxi in 1999, when the now-defunct “Family Values Tour” brought Lewis and his hard-rocking band Stain’d to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The live version of the breakout hit “Outside” was recorded there. Since then, Lewis has established himself as a solo country artist. Judging from his success and busy schedule, this career move has proved quite lucrative for him, both occupationally and artistically. Lewis returns to Biloxi with music from his latest release, “Sinner,” his sophomore effort. This album is a reminder that Lewis’ hard rock days are far behind him. He emphasizes this stylistic transformation with the album’s balladic title track, which features Willie Nelson. Admirably, Lewis tends to steer clear of pop country overtones throughout the album, which should appeal to fans of both modern and traditional country.
BAND: SUNDAY SOCIAL AT THE FROG POND • DATE: SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2 P.M. • VENUE: THE FROG POND AT BLUE MOON FARM, WWW.THEFROGPONDATBLUEMOONFARM.COM (VISIT WEBSITE FOR DIRECTIONS)• TICKETS: VISIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION
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Photo | Aaronlewismusic.com | Aaron Lewis
ith the Mobile Bay area experiencing an early spring, the resuming Sunday Socials at the Frog Pond provide the perfect environment for experiencing a diverse lineup of songwriters and musicians of both national and regional renown. This weekend’s installment will begin with a set from Mississippi’s Oh Jeremiah! This duo has been performing in support of its ethereal new release, “The Other End of Passing Time.” After Oh Jeremiah!, three special guests will take the stage. Cary Hudson of Blue Mountain fame will be returning to the Frog Pond. Lilly Winwood, daughter of famed musician Steve Winwood, also will be making an appearance. Dylan LeBlanc will complete this trio of guests. The Frog Pond’s Sunday lineups also feature resident artists Grayson Capps and Corky Hughes lending their talents to the mix. Given each performer’s respective styles and talents, this installment of the Sunday Social should provide an afternoon of memorable sounds.
BAND: AARON LEWIS • DATE: SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 6:30 P.M. VENUE: HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO, 777 BEACH BLVD. (BILOXI), WWW.HRHCBILOXI.COM TICKETS: $39-$148, AVAILABLE THROUGH TICKETMASTER
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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | MARCH 2 - MARCH 8
THUR. MARCH 2
Bluegill— Delta Reign Duo Blues Tavern— McNab Duo, 8:30p Callaghan’s— Phil Proctor Flora Bama— Gove Scrivener, 2p// Ed Anderson, 5p/// Dueling Pianos, 5:30p//// Mark Sherrill, Chris Newbury, Mel Knapp and John Joiner, 6p//// Andy Brasher Band, 10p//// Mario Mena Duo, 10:15p Listening Room— Eric Erdman, Harrison McInnis, Ryan Balthrop, 8p Lulu’s— Adam Holt, 5p Old 27 Grill— Songwriter’s Night Wind Creek Casino— Philo, 8p
FRI. MARCH 3
All Sports Bar & Billiards— DJ Markie Mark, 10p Big Beach Brewing— Them Again, 6:30p Blind Mule— A Sunday Fire Bluegill— Lee Yankie, 12p// Matt Neese Duo, 6p Blues Tavern— Halfway Show and Band, 9p Flora Bama— Jay Hawkins Duo, 1p// LeaAnne Creswell Duo, 2p/// Dave McCormick, 4p//// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p//// Brian Hill Duo, 6p//// Mel Knapp, 6p//// Alabama Lighting, 9p//// Andy Brasher Band, 9:30p//// Dallas Moore Band, 10p//// Foxy Iguanas Trio, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Me Too, 9p Listening Room— Jeff Jensen Band, 8p Lulu’s— CoConut Radio, 5p Manci’s— Sean Carter and Friend, 7:30p Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — James Burt, 6:30p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Category 4, 8p O’Daly’s— Gene Murrell, Tony Edwards and David White, 10p Tacky Jacks (Gulf Shores)— Three Bean Soup, 5:30p Tacky Jacks (Orange Beach) — Damien Lamb
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Duo, 5p Wind Creek Casino— Philo, 9p
SAT. MARCH 4
Beau Rivage— Rodney Carrington, 8p Big Beach Brewing— Ed Anderson, 6:30p Bluegill— Stephen Sylvester, 12p// Fat Lincoln, 6p Blues Tavern— Johnny No, 9p Callaghan’s— Susto Flora Bama— Brian Hill Duo, 1p// Jay Hawkins Trio, 1p/// Jason Abel Project, 2p//// LeaAnne Creswell, 2p//// Brandon White, 4p//// Lefty Collins, 5p//// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p//// Al & Cathy, 6p//// Big Muddy, 6p//// Chris Bryant Duo, 9p//// Dallas Moore Band, 10p//// Lee Yankie Trio, 10:15p//// Andy Brasher Band, 10:13p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Me Too, 9p Hard Rock (Live) — Aaron Lewis, 8p IP Casino— Tracey Lawrence, 8p Listening Room— Abe Partridge,Van Darien and Cari Ray, 8p Lulu’s— Grits-N-Pieces, 5p Manci’s— Category 4, 7:30p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Chad Parker Duo, 6:30p Old 27 Grill— Lonesome Mel, 6:30p Saenger— The Black Jacket Symphony Soul Kitchen— Curren$y, Twist Up, Nu Nation, Dee Villain, Rello, 10p Tacky Jacks (Gulf Shores)— Jimmy Lee, 12p// Destiny Brown, 5:30p Tacky Jacks (Orange Beach) — Beave and Cleave, 6p Wind Creek Casino— Philo, 9p
SUN. MARCH 5
Big Beach Brewing— Broken Down Car, 3p Bluegill— David Chastang, 12p// Modern Eldorados, 6p
Callaghan’s— Robert Ellis Flora Bama— Smoky Otis Duo, 12p// Jason Justice, 1p/// Davis Nix, 2p//// Zachery Diedrich, 5p//// Jezebel’s Chill’n, 5:30p//// Perdido Brothers, 6p//// Dallas Moore Band, 10p//// Logan Spicer and Tony Ray Thompson, 10:15p Frog Pond— Grayson Capps, Spencer Brown, Edward David Anderson, Sue Foley, Corky Hughes, 2p Lulu’s— Greg Brown, 5p Manci’s— Lisa Mills, 7p Old 27 Grill— Barry Gibson, 11:30a Tacky Jacks (Gulf Shores)— Lisa Christian, 2p Tacky Jacks (Orange Beach) — Marty McIntosh, 12p
MON. MARCH 6
Flora Bama— Ken Lambert, 2p// Zachery Diedrich, 5:30p//// Cathy Pace, 6p//// River Dan Band, 10p//// Petty and Pace, 10:15p Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p
TUE. MARCH 7
Bluegill— Rodger Fleshman Butch Cassidy’s— Andy MacDonald Flora Bama— T-Bone Montgomery, 2p// Tim Kinsey, 5:30p//// Perdido Brothers, 6p//// Hung Jury, 10p//// Davis Nix Duo, 10:15p Lulu’s— Jimmy Lumpkin, 5p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Bob Erickson, 6p
WED. MARCH 8
Bluegill— Ross Newell Blues Tavern— John & Jerome, 8p Callaghan’s— Deluxe Trio Flora Bama— Neil Dover, 2p// Dave McCormick, 5:30p/// Rhinda Hart & Jonathan Newton, 6p//// Whyte Caps, 10p//// Logan Spicer and Tony Ray Thompson, 10:15p Lulu’s— Justin Yawn, 5p
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McGregor’s performance FILMTHE REEL WORLD is worst part of ‘American Pastoral’
BY ASIA FREY/FILM CRITIC/AFREY@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
AREA THEATERS CARMIKE CINEMA’S Wynnsong 16 785 Schillinger Rd. S. (251) 639-7373 CRESCENT THEATER 208 Dauphin Street (251) 438-2005 HOLLYWOOD STADIUM 18 1250 Satchel Paige Dr. (251) 473-9655
ith Pulitzer Prizewinning source material and an accomplished cast, Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, “American Pastoral,” had to work hard to overcome its advantages but, in miscasting himself as the lead, McGregor succeeds in failing. Philip Roth’s 1997 novel about a successful family man undone by the tumultuous 1960s is adapted into a weirdly inert melodrama, and I hate to say it, but McGregor’s performance sticks out as the worst part. The novel is framed in a flashback. Nathan Zuckerman, a character Roth frequently employs, attends his 45th high school reunion and ponders a veritable shrine to star high school athlete “Swede” Levov (McGregor). Conveniently, Swede’s brother walks up to fill Zuckerman in on the decades of despair and ruin that befell his locally renowned brother before his recent demise. From there, we are told Swede’s story. Readers no doubt savored brilliantly written scenes with Roth surrogate Zuckerman, but for the purposes of the film,
this was totally unnecessary and further emphasizes McGregor’s estrangement from Roth’s fictional world. As Zuckerman, actor David Strathairn makes sense as a Jewish intellectual. To then see McGregor as a man whose Jewishness is an important part of the character and story is simply confusing and certainly unconvincing. The sad story of “Swede” Levov coincides with the United States’ painful military involvement in Vietnam. Levov marries a gorgeous former Miss America contestant (Jennifer Connelly), and they have a lovely, headstrong daughter named Merry who suffers from a significant stutter. I know this is part of the book, but anytime an actor, in this case Dakota Fanning, gets some kind of impediment like this, I can just see them licking their chops for a juicy onscreen affliction to portray. It’s instant character. As a child, Merry is taken to an astute therapist who thinks the stutter is repressed resentment against her parents, especially her mother. As Merry grows up, her resentment becomes distinctly unrepressed, taking the form of bitter and outspoken protest against the Vietnam War.
When a post office is bombed and someone is killed, Merry goes missing and is widely suspected to be the perpetrator. Swede spends the next five years searching for his daughter, taunted with clues from one of her New York City friends, who extorts money from him, psychologically torturing him and eluding him. Swede’s heartbreaking search for his daughter, who may very well be a murderer, tears him and his marriage apart, and lifts the veil of respectability from people and society all around him. It is an interesting story, but this adaptation is strictly by the book. Characters often seem to be reading aloud from the novel itself, as if we were witnessing a costumed audio book. To match the verve of a Philip Roth book is a tall order, and McGregor is not up to it. There are plenty of good scenes, but ultimately “American Pastoral” is less than the sum of its admirable parts. The story is meant to capture an American event through one man’s misadventures, but the overall effect is of a painful melodrama, not a powerful drama. “American Pastoral” 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 | Richard Foreman / Marvel
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: Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning star in “American Pastoral,” a lazy adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel. Hugh Jackman returns to his comic book persona as “Logan.” NEW IN THEATERS LOGAN
In this sendoff the “XMen” hero Wolverine, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote outpost on the Mexican border. His attempt to hide from the outside world gets upended when X introduces him to a young mutant named Laura. All listed multiplex theaters.
After suffering a family tragedy Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression, causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious
letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. All listed multiplex theaters.
BEFORE I FALL
A popular teenage girl, killed in a crash, relives the day of her death seven times. All listed multiplex theaters.
The crew of the Indian Submarine S21 sinks a Pakistani submarine before it can destroy an aircraft carrier. In Hindi with subtitles. Regal Mobile Stadium 18
French thriller in which a tough female CEO tracks down the man who raped her. Regal Mobile Stadium 18
GET OUT Cobb Pinnacle 15, Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema ROCK DOG All listed multiplex theaters. 20TH CENTURY WOMEN Carmike Wharf COLLIDE All listed multiplex theaters. THE GREAT WALL All listed multiplex theaters. FIST FIGHT All listed multiplex theaters. A CURE FOR WELLNESS All listed multiplex theaters. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE All listed multiplex theaters. FIFTY SHADES DARKER All listed multiplex theaters. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 All listed multiplex theaters. THE SPACE BETWEEN US All listed multiplex theaters. MOONLIGHT Carmike Wharf 15
HIDDEN FIGURES Crescent Theater, all listed multiplex theaters. FENCES Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Carmike Wynnsong 16 LA LA LAND All listed multiplex theaters. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Carmike Wharf, Carmike Jubilee Square 12, Regal Mobile Stadium 18 LION Carmike Jubilee Square 12, Carmike Wharf 15 THE FOUNDER Carmike Wharf 15 A DOG’S PURPOSE All listed multiplex theaters. SPLIT All listed multiplex theaters. SING All listed multiplex theaters. WHY HIM? Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Carmike Wharf ARRIVAL Carmike Wharf
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS MARCH 2, 2017 - MARCH 8, 2017
GENERAL INTEREST Master Gardeners Seminar Mobile County Master Gardeners spring seminar. Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N. Call 251-342-2753 Learning Lunch The History Museum of Mobile will hold its March Learning Lunch, featuring the director of Historic Blakeley State Park. Wednesday, March 8, at noon in the museum auditorium. Call 251-973-6166. Dauphin Island Boardwalk Talks Boardwalk Talks are held the first and third Wednesday of each month at 11:15 a.m. at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd. Call 251-861-2141. Midtown Optimist Club Join Midtown Optimist Club every Wednesday at noon for lunch at Azalea City Golf Course. Call 251-348-3542. Toastmasters Do you want to learn how to deliver a speech like a pro or gain leadership skills to advance your career? Toastmasters International meets regularly at six locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Visit www.toastmasters.org for more information.
shopping fun with great food, drink and live Thursdays at MMoA music. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all visitors. No reservations “Mobile Home, Sweet Home” are necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum One of Chickasaw Community Theatre’s Drive. Call 251-208-5200. favorite playwrights will be back in March as CCT presents “Mobile Home, Sweet Home.” March 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.; March 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. Call 251457-8887 or visit cctshows.com.
Virginia Glee Club The University of Virginia Glee Club will be making its first-ever formal appearance in Mobile as part of its 2017 Spring Tour of Southern States. The performance will be on Monday, March 6, 7 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1900 Dauphin St. in Mobile. Lenten music Christ Church Cathedral will host its “Meditation and Music in the Church” luncheon March 8 at 12:30 p.m. in the Chapter House, 115 S. Conception St. The Mithril Duo will present a Celtic-inspired Lenten concert. First Friday Art Walk The Eastern Shore Art Center returns with new art and music the first Friday of every month. Friday, March 3, at 6 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Art Center, 401 Oak St., Fairhope. For more information, contact Adrienne at 251-928-2228, ext. 103.
MUSEUMS “Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure” A new, highly interactive exhibit at GulfQuest featuring more than 500 authentic artifacts recovered from deepocean 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 251-208-7420.
Chocolate Festival 9th annual Mobile Chocolate Festival. Saturday March 4, at The Grounds in Mobile. All proceeds benefit Penelope House. Dauphin Island Bicycle Poker Run The 1st Dauphin Island Bicycle Poker Run to benefit “Share the Beach.” March 4, noon to 5 p.m. Tickets $10, available day of event at Fins. Call 251-648-2397. Handprint Title Make your mark and give a hand Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m. to noon at the Connie Hudson Senior Center, 3201 Hillcrest Road. Titles (for children’s handprints) will be for sale to raise money for the splash pad at Medal of Honor Park.
ARTS Night Market Mobile Museum of Art hosts Night Market on Thursday, March 2, 5-9 p.m. featuring wares by artists and artisans. Support your local artists and join the party and
“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 251-929-1471. Tea for Two Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. the Fairhope Museum of History hosts a tea with a lecture on Fairhope history. The March 7 speaker will be Parks Rogers and Cliff McCollum. Call 251-929-1471. 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.
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The Daphne Library will host a “Babysitting and CPR” class on March 4. The program is designed for teens 11-18 years of age. Registration is limited to eight participants. For additional information, call 251-621- 2818, ext. 211.
Glow Run “Colors of Cancer” 5K run/walk and Fun Run, a run for all cancers, will take place Saturday, March 4, at 6:30 p.m. on the University of South Alabama campus, SGA Pavilion. Register at exaltemagazine.com
Constituent town hall Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Alabama, will hold a town hall meeting in Mobile on Monday, March 6, at 5:30 p.m. Free and open to the public at Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center, 1717 Dauphin St.
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters World Tour will make a stop in Mobile on Tuesday, March 7. The game will be at the USA Mitchell Center at 7 p.m. Visit harlemglobetrotters. com. Tour de LADR The 21.4-mile Tour de LADR is on Saturday, March 4, at 7:30 a.m. at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. Cyclists race from the opening of the Grand Hotel to Pelican Point and back. Visit tourdeladr. 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 New classes at Palmer Pillans Middle School begin the week of March 6: Tone It Up! Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30-6:15 p.m. and Yoga for Fitness & Relaxation, Thursday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. To register or more information, call 251-463-7980 or go to communityactivitiesprogram.com. Dance classes New classes at Palmer Pillans Middle School begin the week of March 6: Belly Dancing for Beginners, Tuesday, 6-7 p.m.; Basic Ballroom, Monday, 6:30-8 p.m.; Beyond Basic Ballroom, Wednesday, 6:30-8 p.m. To register or for more information, call 251-463-7980 or go to: communityactivities.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 cyoungblood9278@ gmail.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 in Daphne. Email email@example.com.
WORKSHOPS Babysitting and CPR Class
Baldwin County Commission: First and third Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., 322 Courthouse Square, Bay Minette. Work sessions are the second and fourth Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. rotating between Bay Minette, the Foley Satellite Courthouse, the Fairhope Satellite Courthouse and the Baldwin County Central Annex Building in Robertsdale. www.baldwincountyal.gov Baldwin County Planning Commission: First Thursday at 6 p.m., 22251 Palmer St., Robertsdale, www.baldwincountyal. gov. Bayou La Batre City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m., 13785 S. Wintzell Ave., www. cityofbayoulabatre.com. Chickasaw City Council: Second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m., 224 N. Craft Highway, 251-452-6450. Citronelle City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6:30 p.m., 19135 Main St., 251-866-7973. Creola City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6 p.m., 190 Dead Lake Road, #A, 251-675-8142. Daphne City Council: First and third Monday at 6:30 p.m., 1705 Main St. Work sessions are the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m., www. daphneal.com. Dauphin Island Town Council: First and third Tuesdays at 7 p.m., 1011 Bienville Blvd., www.townofdauphinisland. org. Elberta Town Council: Third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the town hall. Workshop meeting on the second Tuesday. townofelberta.com. Fairhope City Council: Second and fourth Monday at 6 p.m., 161 N. Section St. Work sessions are held before each council meeting at 4:30 p.m., www.cofairhope.com. Fairhope Planning Commission: First Monday at 5 p.m., 161 N. Section St. For more information visit www. cofairhope.com. Foley City Council: First and third Monday at 5:30 p.m., 407 E. Laurel Ave. Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., www.cityoffoley.org. Gulf Shores City Council: Second and fourth Mondays at 4 p.m., 1905 W. First St., www.gulfshoresal.gov.
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SPORTS UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Rams’ competitive cheer squad excels in debut BY J. MARK BRYANT/SPORTS WRITER/SPORTS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM/TWITTER @GOULAGUY
Get on your bikes and ride
The 13th annual Tour de LADR (Lower Alabama Doctors Ride) bike race is set for Saturday, March 4, at 7:30 a.m. at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. Although the event is organized by the Medical Society of Mobile County, registration for the 21.4-mile ride to Pelican Point and back is open to the general public. The MSMC said the event not only promotes a healthy lifestyle, but 100 percent of the $35 registration fee benefits Camp Rap-A-Hope — the local camp for children dealing with cancer. Camp Rap-A-Hope, which was founded by the spouses of two physicians in 1985, is the largest of its kind between New Orleans and Pensacola. For additional information, visit www. tourdeladr.com or call 251-476-9494.
Photo/ Courtesy University of Mobile
The University of Mobile’s first-year cheer squad recently won the Southern States Athletic Conference’s Cheer Championship.
wo. Four. Six. Eight. Who do we appreciate? Well, the University of Mobile’s competitive cheer squad, that’s who! During the inaugural Southern States Athletic Conference’s Cheer Championship, the Rams came home with the overall trophy. To make it even sweeter, this is the first time the school has fielded a squad. Mobile finished with a score of 68.5. Loyola-New Orleans took second place (64.1), while Martin Methodist — which won the NAIA National Invitational in 2016 — finished third (51.3). “We are very proud of our team and what they have accomplished,” said University of Mobile Associate Athletic Director Kris Nelson. “Coach [Kami] Whiteis has done a phenomenal job developing a competitive team and overcoming many hurdles that come with a first-year program.” It was a quick turnaround for UM, which had lost a dual match with Loyola earlier in the week at Ms. Daphne’s Cheernastics facility in Satsuma. “The routine we put on the floor Friday when we faced Loyola was not our best performance,” Whiteis said. “We
made some small adjustments that made a big impact on the final result today. I could not be prouder of this team winning the first SSAC Cheer Championship.” Several members of the UM team were recognized with awards including: Jacob Hildreth, All-Conference Team; Peyton Cooley, All-Conference Team and AllAcademic Team; Joshua Schlehuber, All-Academic Team; Alexis Williams, All-Academic Team; and Mallory Patterson, Cheer Champions of Character. “The hard work and dedication of the team is encouraging and is paying off,” Nelson said. “They have set a high standard for the future.” The SSAC win earned the UM squad a berth in the NAIA Southwest Regional last Saturday hosted by Saint Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City University left with the automatic berth to the national finals. UM finished the regional in sixth place, while Loyola was seventh. The NAIA is the only collegiate athletics association to offer a national trophy in this sport. Competitive cheer is the first activity to earn national championship status within the NAIA since women’s golf in 1995.
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• When Spring Hill College took a pair of victories over Auburn-Montgomery and Christian Brothers, it marked a milestone for head coach Alison Sellers-Cook. Now in her 12th year at the helm, she has recorded 300 career victories with the Badgers. SHC is off to an 11-4 start and is 3-0 in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after sweeping past Kentucky State. • Katelyn Wilson has been named the SIAC Softball Player of the Week, while teammate Danielle Clark was selected as Pitcher of the Week. Wilson, a sophomore from Mobile, hit 454 with four runs scored, two doubles and one RBI as SHC won six straight games. Clark, a sophomore from Saraland, pitched a no-hitter versus the University of Mobile and got a win in relief against Auburn-Montgomery. • The University of South Alabama’s Tuki Jacobs has vaulted up to No. 50 in the latest Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s Singles National Rankings. After starting the spring rated No. 91, the senior from Namibia is the highest-ranked Sun Belt Conference singles player. His Jaguar teammate Juan Cruz Soria is also off to an excellent start. He has twice been named the SBC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week to start the season. They have helped USA get off to a 10-2 start. • The tennis teams at the University of Mobile are off to strong starts this season. The women are ranked No. 16 in the nation with a 5-0 record. The men are at No. 19 with a 6-0 mark. • When the Lady Jaguars defeated Appalachian State 54-41 recently, it marked their first conference at the Mitchell Center this year. Chyna Ellis made a major contribution as she became USA’s all-time leader in career blocks after recording a game-high and season-best six rejections. This gives her 212 for her career, passing the 210 blocks by LaSandra Jenkins from 1982-85. • Michael Druhan was named SIAC Baseball Player of the Week, while teammate Hunter D’Armond was picked as Pitcher of the Week. Druhan, a senior from Mobile, hit .400 for the week with two home runs and five RBIs. D’Armond, a sophomore, picked up a win against Alabama-Huntsville in four hitless innings of relief. He allowed two walks and got three strikeouts. • Three USA track and field athletes have been honored by the Sun Belt Conference. Matt Weinhold broke the school’s indoor shot put record with an effort of 16.84 meters. He also was ninth in the weight throw with a personal best mark of 16.11 meters. Katheho Dyoyi set a personal best in the mile in 4:10.17, which is sixth all-time at USA. Laura Labushaigne was third in the women’s 800-meter run in 2:15.00, is the fourth fastest in the SBC this season. • USA’s Devin Brown has been named the Sun Belt’s Pitcher of the Week. The junior from Theodore has won the league honors eight times in her career. The preseason All-American has started with two complete-game shutouts and a save in 15.2 innings. She struck out 25 batters while allowing six hits and one walk.
Controlling fire ants in your yard BY ELLEN HUCKABAY/REGIONAL EXTENSION AGENT/COASTALALABAMAGARDINING@GMAIL.COM
Q: Fire ants are always a problem in my yard. What is the best
treatment to keep me bite free all year?
The eternal question: how to get rid of fire ants. Did you know that we actually have the Port of Mobile to thank for introducing fire ants to North America? Gotta be famous for something I guess! Unfortunately, fire ants are never going to be eradicated. The good news is that you can keep their numbers in your lawn and landscape so low that you may very well think you live in a fire ant-free world. The key is to focus on long-term control, which means killing the queen. This approach will not garner instant gratification, so put your patient pants on. But what this method seems to lack in quickness it makes up for in longevity. The best method for keeping you, your children, grandchildren and pets safe from fire ant stings is called the two-step (kind of like a dance, so it’s fun — right?). The first step in the two-step method is to use a fire ant bait. Baits are food the foraging worker ants pick up, take back to the colony, digest, feed to other workers and eventually to the queen, thus eliminating the colony. Baits can take four to six weeks to kill a colony, but the effects of wiping out the entire queen and her kingdom last for several months. Baits are best applied in the spring and early fall; avoid times when it’s too hot and dry or too cold. You have to put the bait out when ants are foraging for food, or it will go rancid and they’ll turn up their noses. A simple gauge is if you are comfortable outside in a T-shirt and shorts or jeans, then fire ants are probably out foraging. To be sure they’ll take the bait, drop a greasy potato chip on the ground, wait 20 to 30 minutes and return to the potato chip to see if ants are on it. If so, you can ef-
fectively treat with a bait. Baits can seem expensive, but you are broadcasting a tiny amount over a large area, so a bag may last you two years (four applications) if you store it correctly. Many products are labeled as bait for homeowner use. Look for products containing hydramethylnon, (S)-methoprene, spinosad or a combination of (S)-methoprene and hydramethylnon. It’s important to look for active ingredients instead of brand names, because sometimes companies change an active ingredient — which may change the effectiveness or use of the product — in a product but keep the same brand name. Very confusing and frustrating! The Extension System has a great publication that is updated each year with available products. It can be found online at www.aces.edu, or you can swing by your local office and pick up a copy. The second step of the two-step fire ant dance is individual mound treatments. Remember that baits are going to take a few weeks to fully work, and maybe you have a mound right in the middle of your kids’ football field. That’s where contact insecticides come in handy. There are several products that can be used as mound treatments; please refer to the publication noted above. Some common ingredients are bifenthrin, deltamethrin, beta-cyfluthrin and permethrin. DO NOT DISTURB the mounds before you apply baits or mound treatments. Baits should not be applied to mounds as this will cause the ants to go on the defensive instead of eating the bait. And NEVER, EVER, EVER use gasoline or diesel to kill ants. Yikes! Additionally, DIY treatments like club soda and boiling water do not provide effective control of fire ants. These methods may satisfy your need to kill these little devils, and you will see some dead ants, and the mound will likely move, but you
haven’t actually killed the queen. For those advanced dancers in the fire ant game, there is one more step to learn after you have mastered the two-step. That is broadcast contact insecticides, which form a residual barrier of control around your property. But I prefer the two-step, which, when done correctly, provides enough control to keep my yard free of fire ants.
YOU ARE INVITED
TO THESE UPCOMING GARDENING EVENTS: What: Mobile Master Gardeners Monthly Meeting When: Thursday, March 9, 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Topic: Lawn Care, Bob Thompson What: Plantasia! Spring Plant Sale When: Friday, March 17; Saturday, March 18 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Sunday, March 19 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Where: Mobile Botanical Gardens, 5151 Museum Drive What: Mobile Master Gardeners Lunch & Learn When: Monday, March 20, noon to 1 p.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Topic: Fire Ant Control, Ellen Huckabay https://mg.aces.edu/mobile/category/announcements
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Midtown on the move BY BY SHARMAN EGAN/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE UH-OH! BY BRUCE HAIGHT / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 Bloblike “Star Wars” character 6 Give over 10 Great shakes? 15 Low rolls 19 Auto feature 20 Julia of Hollywood 21 Ham-handed 22 Enthralled 23 Office for decoding messages? 26 The average size of its stores is 300,000 square feet 27 Had more than an inkling 28 “Rats!” 29 Bringing to mind 31 “Indubitably!” 32 Anxious condition, briefly 33 What one might sit in at a Cheech & Chong movie? 37 “Puppy Love” singer, 1960 38 Election Day affirmation 39 Oomph 40 Hauled (away) 42 WikiLeaks associates 45 Inspiration 46 Herder’s mantra? 48 Virtual dog or cat, maybe 50 Glaciate 51 Fake news site, with “The” 52 Sign on a jar at a bar 53 Mass. neighbor 54 In a pretentious manner 56 Series opener 58 Fall behind 61 Quality-control problem at Oscar Mayer? 63 Title of a book about Southern Reconstruction? 65 Nav. rank 66 Word before or after nothing 67 Doohickeys 68 Sword handle 69 They may be decorated for the holidays 70 Sauce 71 Nickname for a Miami 12-time N.B.A. All-Star 72 Goddess usually pictured with a helmet 75 Two sights in a yacht’s galley? 79 Prey for a heron or garter snake 80 French pilgrimage site 81 Stranger 82 Off-road transport, informally 83 ____ Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock 85 Sound heard by an exam proctor, say 86 Helpful things for killing time nowadays? 91 Fraternity letter
92 Number of French kings named Charles 95 Catch’s partner 96 Prefix with therapy 98 Draw 99 “Sign me up!” 100 Pigeon trainer, at times? 105 Crook, e.g. 106 Book of ____ (ancient Jewish text) 107 “Who ____?” 108 Kind of pad 109 Past partners 110 1988 Olympics site 111 Studied 112 Ancient manuscript DOWN 1 Of poor quality, in modern slang 2 Set apart 3 College in Lewiston, Me. 4 Steep 5 Big movie-theater chain 6 Miniature lobster lookalikes 7 Every 8 They may be put up before a fight 9 President-____ 10 Starts of many emails 11 Burma’s first prime minister 12 Warm welcome at Waikiki 13 Exams for some H.S. students
14 Singer/guitarist ____ Ray Vaughan 15 Early wheels 16 Rousing 17 Unsolved crime 18 Theater backdrop 24 Clamor 25 Onetime MGM rival 30 Trite 32 Coming up 34 Canon rival 35 Hardly ____ 36 Fishing vessel 37 In the neighborhood 40 Changing room? 41 Go-betweens 42 Fine-tuning 43 Acrobatic 44 Be overly sweet 45 Hip-hop’s ____ Def 46 Cubbyhole 47 Performing beneath one’s usual level 48 Late times, in ads 49 Bigger than big 52 The Bee Gees, for much of their career 54 Ancient market 55 Ruth’s 2,214 56 Circular things that arrive in square boxes 57 Lumberjacks 58 Narcotic 59 One carrying a torch? 60 Ending with poly62 Valhalla V.I.P.
63 Certain vacuum tube 64 “Actually, come to think of it …” 67 Egg on 69 Hiking group, with “the”? 70 Greek city mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles 71 Backs, anatomically 72 With consequences 73 As much as possible 74 Motor oil brand 75 “The Lord of the Rings” actor Billy 76 Step up or down 77 Relied (on) 78 Theme for an annual citymagazine issue 80 The inside track 83 Narc’s org. 84 Arroyos 87 Spanish kids 88 Cold War flier 89 Glow in the dark? 90 “Say cheese!” 92 Dressed to the nines, with “up” 93 Goddess of peace 94 Canon rival 97 ____ Major 98 Mother of Artemis 101 Farm call 102 Post-O.R. stop 103 Grp. of Senators 104 PC key
ANSWERS ON PAGE 37
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ondering whether midtown Mobile is undergoing a transformation similar to downtown’s? Just look back a couple of years and you’ll see how far we’ve come. Back in February 2015, midtown had no skateboard park, no dog park, no Marine Street Lofts, no Old Shell Growlers. A midtown Publix was just a twinkle in Fred Richardson’s eyes. And more is coming. Let’s take a spin through midtown, starting at Government and Broad streets, to review the changes. As you drive up the concrete swath that is Broad Street today, try to picture it with $21 million in improvements. Last July the city received a $14.5 million grant from the feds. The city and the Alabama Department of Transportation will match that with a little over $3 million each. The money will be used to reconstruct the Beauregard/ Broad corridor from the GM&O Building to Brookley. Renderings show a dramatically enhanced streetscape. Traffic lanes will be reduced to allow room for bike paths, landscaped medians and 8-foot multi-use paths on both sides of the street. Just past Conti Street, you’ll notice several lots filled with weeds and crumbling concrete. The Infant Mystics plan to build a high-end float barn here. I’ve seen the plans and “barn” is hardly the word I’d choose to describe it. With a brick façade and wrought-iron details, it will have a distinctly Mobile feel. Turn left onto Dauphin Street and you’ll see the circa 1845 Protestant Children’s Home on your left at 911. After sitting vacant and deteriorating for several years, it’s undergoing a $3 million redo. Once complete, it will become party central for the Infant Mystics, along with the float barn around the corner. Farther up Dauphin, the midtown breakfast desert now has a much-needed option at G’s Bakery & Café in the old Popcorn Building (1714). G’s also serves lunch. A two-block jog over, on Old Shell Road, developer Pace Burt has transformed the Old Shell Road School (1706), vacant and boarded up since 2012, into the Old Shell Lofts. The 24 high-end apartments are currently pre-leasing. He’s also the brains (and bucks) behind some lofts we’ll see later on our tour. A short stroll up the street, Old Shell Growlers (1801) opened in August, featuring craft beers, root beer and wine on tap and a selection of unique small plates, such as smoked duck skewers and beerbraised mussels. Yum! Don’t bother going up to Spring Hill Avenue looking for the new bike lanes. They’re still not there. I’m told they’re scheduled for later this month. Turn down Florida Street and you’ll pass the biggest news in midtown: the construction site of the new Publix. In addition to the supermarket, the development will include four smaller retail buildings. Rumors suggest several new restaurants will locate there.
The site is a muddy mess now and the city recently ordered the developer to halt much of its work because it removed trees that should have been preserved. The developer must submit plans to restore the buffer before it can resume full construction. In spite of this delay, with any luck we’ll be rolling our buggies down its aisles by the end of the year. Further down Florida, the new Catholic Social Services complex has replaced a dilapidated strip center. Turn left on Airport and on your right you’ll notice the acrobatics at the wildly popular skateboard park, which opened in 2015 at Public Safety Memorial Park. On the Government Street side of the park you’ll find more acrobatics: flying tennis balls and Frisbees as happy dogs (and their owners) play in the new dog park that opened in November. Adeline loves the separate section for small pups. Back on Airport, take time to visit Chaleur Method Brew and Espresso (2100), the first “third-wave” coffee shop in Mobile. It offers artisanal coffee and a charming ambiance modeled after French cafes. I stopped in during its soft opening for a robust pour over coffee. The grand opening will be this month. Heading downtown on Government, take a right on Ann Street. A few blocks down at Crawford-Murphy Park you’ll find another new dog park, which opened last summer. Crawford-Murphy underwent a major makeover in 2015, including newly resurfaced tennis/pickleball courts, walking trail, benches, lighting, baseball fencing and landscaping. Back on Government, look for Jonelli’s at the corner of South Georgia Avenue. Opening soon, it will offer classic Chicago hot dogs, bratwurst, a “true” Reuben, quesadillas and more. You won’t believe the renovation to the old Saucy Que building! Back on Broad Street, you’ll find Marine Street Lofts on your right (951). Boarded up and neglected for years, developer Pace Burt has transformed the eyesore into 48 midcentury-modern apartments, creating what just may be the most stylish digs in midtown. The rooftop terrace offers sweeping views of downtown and the waterfront and a place to hang out with your friends. The Container Yard opened on the ground floor in August, offering co-working space for small businesses. Turn right on Broad to view the last stop on our tour, yet another Pace Burt project. The historic Russell School, vacant since 2007, is being redeveloped in much the same fashion as its Old Shell Road School cousin. Construction is well underway. So there you have it. In just a 30-minute drive, we’ve seen how far midtown has come since 2015 — and where we’re headed over the next few years. Mobility is a monthly column tracking development and improvements in downtown and midtown Mobile.
STYLE HOROSCOPES VIRGO HAS AN OSCARS MOMENT PISCES (2/19-3/20) — Discovering that North Korea apparently has access to both lethal neurotoxins and lady assassins, you’ll finally move the Hermit Kingdom up on your “Top 10 Terrifying Countries” list — an unwelcome blow to your #7 seed, Russia. You’ll give up reading Facebook comments for Lent. ARIES (3/21-4/19) — The livestream of April the Giraffe’s lengthy labor will get interesting for the first time after you spot an impatient man from New Jersey breaking into the habitat to attempt an unsanctioned, and frankly ill-advised, C-section on the 14-foot mammal. You’ll give up “some” tacos for Lent. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — To better follow Alabama’s regular legislative session, you’ll travel to Goat Hill for a firsthand experience. However, due to the similar atmospheres, it will take you a full day to realize you accidentally attended a WWE event at Garrett Coliseum. You’ll give up funk for Lent. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — After Krispy Kreme informs you there’s a limit on its “donuts for Mardi Gras beads” exchange, you’ll spend next week trying to convince a Waffle House employee that an omelet is worth 318 pounds of cheap plastic. You’ll give up using the word “moist” for Lent. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — Inspired by recent media reports, you’ll become Mobile’s first real-life “superhero.” You’ll be called “The Jumbo Shrimp” by this newspaper and will only get in the way of police. You’ll give up paying attention to coworkers for Lent. LEO (7/23-8/23) — You’ll organize a “Mobile triathlon” for charity full of things Mobilians would do on a weekly basis. The events will include eating a Callaghan’s burger, complaining about new attractions and getting stuck in Friday traffic. You’ll give up grapefruit for Lent. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — At this year’s Nappies you’ll announce the wrong winner for best burger. As punishment, you’ll be forced to chop a month’s worth of onions. You’ll give up Tinder for Lent. You’ll be swiping right on Jesus. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — You’ll cheat on your resolution diet when you’re found in bed with the remains of a King Cake on your face. It’ll be very embarrassing for you, but you made it through February. You’ll give up solid food for Lent. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — You’ll get rich selling glasses of milk at the Mobile Chocolate Festival. In a stroke of genius, you’ll add chocolate to the milk, and the world will be yours. You’ll give up pudding for Lent. SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — Still hungover from Fat Tuesday, you’ll go ahead and schedule your spring vacation this week. Nothing says rest, relaxation and whole-body detoxification like a trip to Cancun. You’ll give up sausage for Lent. CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — You’ll attend U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne’s town hall meeting to ask about the Obamacare replacement. Their goal is to repeal the individual mandate. Your goal will be to cure the political cancer of our democracy. You’ll give up Lent for Lent. AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — You and your Americana band will take promotional photos in a cotton field. You’ll return with a renewed sense of respect for slave laborers, and a very cliché image you can share with your 200 Facebook followers. You’ll give up cornpone for Lent.
F U T U R E
ANSWERS FROM PAGE 36
S H O C K
M a r c h 2 , 2 0 1 7 - M a r c h 8 , 2 0 1 7 | L AG N I A P P E | 37
Oh how the good times rolled BY BOOZIE BEER NUES/SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
eep, beep! All aboard the struggle bus! I know I’m not the only one feeling the aftermath of Mardi Gras; some of y’all are feeling it more than me, but this is a judgment-free zone (kinda), so kiss that moral hangover goodbye and get ready for a recap of the craziness!
Where do I even begin with all the Mardi Gras info I have so far? I don’t think I can process all the gossip while being this hungover, but I am going to try for y’all’s sake. First up, people’s attire, or lack thereof. We all know the weather was amazing this past weekend. It was a taste of spring in February and with that taste of spring came booty shorts. I mean, I couldn’t get over that there were groups of girls wearing shorts so short you could see their butt cheeks. Did their mama see them leave the house wearing that? Boozie’s man friend even was like, geez, those are short shorts, and even asked where they buy ones that short. Don’t know or want to find out. The weather even gave a few guys spring fever. One float rider in the Floral Parade on Saturday decided that it was a good chance to catch some rays, so he ditched his shirt and rode on! The party didn’t stop there. Sunday during the Joe Cain parade one of the marchers was wearing a very patriotic weenie bikini. The front of his bikini was a bald eagle and where the beak of the eagle was, well, let’s just say it looked very 3-D. Moving on, Saturday night at the MOT parade, former Alabama running back and current running back for the Green Bay Packers Eddie Lacy was spotted at Moe’s BBQ. The football star was happy to pose for pictures and even did the running man with a few crowd members. Roll Tide! That’s not all. One of my spies was heading down Springhill Avenue to catch a parade when they spotted a group of people standing in the road, and could tell something was on the ground. Worried that someone had been hit by a car, they started to turn around before they realized the group was taking pictures of a man lying on the ground. Turns out a drunk guy had taken a tumble and the group was helping him out of the way after getting in a good laugh.
38 | L AG N I A P P E | M a r c h 2 , 2 0 1 7 - M a r c h 8 , 2 0 1 7
However, they did leave his handle of vodka in the road. I’m willing to bet he feels like he did get by a car.
Lagniappe did its part on Joe Cain Day to help keep things clean. Some conscientious individual saw fit to take advantage of Lagniappe’s absorbent qualities to cover some of the unpleasant signs a police mounted unit had been by. Don’t they know Lagniappe doesn’t cover crap? Or maybe they were thinking Lagniappe is the sh*t (in a good way)!
Lagniappe did its part on Joe Cain Day to help keep things clean. Beam me up
So these past weekends have been a blur and I dropped the ball on getting y’all the Pensacon gossip! Pensacon took place at the Pensacola Bay Center weekend before last, and of course Boozie had spies there to catch all of the great comic characters. We hear our very own lovable talk radio curmudgeon Uncle Henry was there as well. But my spy said these were some of the highlights: A lot of Hogwarts personnel, teachers and students from the Harry Potter universe, including one guy dressed as the late Alan Rickman’s Severus Snape. He really looked
the part. A Gene Wilder-styled Willie Wonka. A pair of Romulans from the Star Trek franchise, one who sported a bright pinkish wig in a bob. My spy told her he didn’t recall any pink-haired Romulans and she quipped she was a huge Katy Perry fan. There was a life size and authentic looking R2D2 rolling around. One kid had Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren character from the Star Wars franchise down pat. A few Spidermen, one playing shutterbug and another who was toting around Captain America’s shield, a la “Captain America: Civil War.” Harley Quinn was popular again but now there are equal numbers of them patterned after the version from last year’s “Suicide Squad” film, as opposed to the traditional version from the comic books. My spy saw a Jared Leto-styled Joker to boot. There was a handful of “old school” Riddlers, too. A couple of guys dressed liked the Steve Zissou crew from Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic.” A guy dressed as Indiana Jones’ father, complete with natty tweed hat, waistcoat, bowtie, Sean Connery beard, even the leather satchel and umbrella. It was perfect. When another fellow costumed as his more swashbuckling son passed him in the crowd, “Junior’s” double take was pretty funny. An obvious gym rat decked out as the new Aquaman was getting a lot of looks from the ladies. A fellow dressed as Mad Max who ended up being a science professor on one of the panels about Mars colonization. Beeker from “The Muppet Show.” A lot more Wonder Women than we’ve seen in past years, no doubt helped by her re-emergence in film in the last couple of years. A quartet of folks dressed as characters from Mel Brooks’ Star Wars parody “Spaceballs,” including Rick Moranis’ Dark Helmet. Sounds like another year of great people watching at Pensacon! Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. I’ll be back next week with more Mardi Gras gossip. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or just some plain ol’ vodka lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!
LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 | firstname.lastname@example.org FORECLOSURES 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
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 Charles C. Prince to Norbert L. Howell and Karen Y. Howell, on the 18th day of August, 1995, and recorded in Real Property Book 4285, Page 1866, (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 Vendor’s Lien 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 24th 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 address is 3854 Pickett Drive, Mobile, Alabama 36618 being the same property described in the above-referred to Vendor’s Lien Deed: Lot #7, Block C, Wolf Ridge Manor, Second Sector as recorded in Real Property Book 9, Page 334 of the records in the Office of the Judge of Probate Court of Mobile County, Alabama. 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. Karen Y. Howell Holder of said Vendor’s Lien Deed Deena R. Tyler, Esq. Druhan & Tyler, LLC Attorneys for Holder P.O. Box 6 Mobile, Alabama 36601 251-202-5529 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 16, 2017
PROBATE NOTICE OF COURT PROCEEDING CASE NO. 2017-0245 IN THE PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Notice of the filing of petition for Summary Distribution in the estate of Joseph Christian Parks III, Deceased. Notice is hereby given that a Petition for Summary Distribution has been filed by Fay Olevia Wainwright on February 14, 2017, and that 30 days after the notice of publication hereof and pursuant to law the Court shall be requested to enter an order directing summary distribution of the estate of said decedent. Don Davis, Judge of Probate. Lagniappe HD March 2, 2017
NOTICE OF COURT PROCEEDING February 15, 2017 CASE NO. 2010-1601-10 IN THE PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of ELSWORTH BYRD SR., Deceased On to-wit the 10th day of April, 2017 at 9:30 AM in COURTROOM 1, THIRD FLOOR, Mobile County Government Center Annex, 151 Government Street the court will proceed to consider the PETITION FOR FINAL SETTLEMENT as filed by ELSWORTH BYRD, JR.. NOTICE is hereby given to all parties in interest who may appear and contest same or file a proper responsive pleading thereto if they then think proper. Don Davis, Judge of Probate Attorney: JOHN M. LASSITER JR., 2500 DAUPHIN STREET Mobile, AL 36606 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 9, 16, 2017
ADVERTISMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: CLEVERDON PARKWAY TURNING LANE University of South Alabama Mobile, AL USA Job #1659 - Bid #7013001 Bids will be received and clocked in at 2:00 p.m. local time on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office. Contact as follows: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd., N., AD245 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 (email@example.com) Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Room AD 023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and Consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Manager at the address listed below. 307 University Blvd. N., AD001 Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6601 FX# (251) 461-1370
(firstname.lastname@example.org) Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 9, 2017 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 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a general public meeting for activities relating to the preparation of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate improvements to the Mobile Harbor Federal navigation channel, Mobile, Alabama. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mobile District invites the public to participate in a general public meeting on March 16th, 2017 at the Bayfront Pavilion, 6200 Bayfront Park Drive, Daphne AL 36526 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an overview of the project’s current status and upcoming milestones, and to receive public input to address the potential impacts associated with improving the Mobile Harbor Federal Navigation Channel in Mobile County, Alabama. Graphical displays, including maps and charts, will be displayed in the meeting area and members of the project team will be available to answer questions related to the project. The USACE Mobile District is seeking public input regarding the project. Public comments can be submitted through a variety of methods and will be added to the official record for the project. Written or oral comments may be submitted at the public meeting. Public comments may also be submitted to the USACE by email to: MobileHarborGRR@usace.army.mil or by mail to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Mobile District, 109 Saint Joseph Street, Mobile AL 36602. Any person who has an interest in the proposed activity may attend the public meeting. For more information, please contact Mr. Larry Parson at 251-690-3139 or by email at email@example.com. Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County 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
NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2005 Dodge Dakota 1D3HE22K75S243449 2008 Chevrolet Impala
2G1WT58K281212931 2003 Toyota Corolla 2T1BR38E63C115311 2015 Chevrolet Malibu 1G11C5SL2FF349806 2000 Ford Mustang 1FAFP4046YF166439 2008 Toyota Prius JTDKB20U783375430 2006 Chrysler 300 2C3KA53G36H294563 1993 Chevrolet C1500 2GCEC19K1P1180823
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 8411 Grand Oaks Dr., Theodore, AL 36582. 2000 Honda Prelude JHMBB6242YC000063 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 6540 Sander Dr., Theodore, AL 36582. 2003 Kia Sorento KNDJD733635154307 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 6425 Spanish Fort Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL 36577. 2004 Dodge Stratus 4B3AG42G14E147857
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3220 Normandy Dr. E., Semmes, AL 36575. 2002 Toyota Avalon 4T1BF28B02U263525
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 21106 US Hwy. 98, Foley, AL 36535.
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1105 Springhill Ave., Mobile, AL 36604. 1999 Honda Accord 1HGCG565XXA006287
Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
2003 Toyota Camry 4T1BE32K33U769045
Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 18775 E Hammond St., Robertsdale, AL 36567. 1989 Acura Integra JH4DA3357KS027676 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 18330 S 3rd St., Citronelle, AL 36522. 2010 INTL 8000 1HSHXSJR4AJ181985 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 6650 McDonald Rd., Theodore, AL 36582. 2010 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WB5EK4A1229534 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1102 Bishop Wilmer Dr., Mobile, AL 36605. 2001 Chevrolet C1500 1GNEC16T71J219738 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 526 Barton St., Mobile, AL 36610. 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis 2MEFM75W13X698630 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5971 Hwy. 90, Theodore, AL 36582. 2006 Saturn Ion 1G8AJ55F96Z186406 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed at 2008 Hathcox St., Mobile, AL 36617. 2006 Nissan Altima 1N4AL11D26N322403 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on March 31, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 14558 County Rd. 32, Summerdale, AL 36580. 2013 Chevrolet Spark KL8CD6S91DC507034 Lagniappe HD Feb. 23, March 2, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3151 Moffett Rd., Mobile, AL 36607. 1997 Mercury Marquis 2MELM75W1VX707784 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5855 Glenwood Hill Dr. E., Wilmer, AL 36587. 1999 Mitsubishi Montero sport JA4LS31H4XP039831 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5954 Sperry Rd. Apt D 4, Theodore, AL 36582. 2003 Ford Crown Vic 2FAFP71WX3X102516 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5471 A Hwy. 43, Satsuma, AL 36572. 2003 Saturn L200 1G8JU54F23Y513688 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 54674 Splinter Hill Rd., Perdido, AL 36562. 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 3B7HF13Z5XG219737 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7960 Two Mile Rd., Irvington, AL 36544. 2010 Honda Civic 2HGFG1B81AH532144 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2011 Kia Soul KNDJT2A24B7328958 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier 1G1JC1240Y7370958 2016 Toyota Corolla 2T1BURHE4GC498494 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on April 07, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5971 Hwy. 90, Theodore, AL 36582. 2001 Honda Civic 2HGES15291H600501 1997 Nissan Altima 1N4BU31D8VC230154 1992 Jeep Cherokee 1J4FT58S6NL241355 Lagniappe HD March 2, 9, 2017
Deadline for legal advertising in Lagniappe HD is every Monday at 3 p.m. Lagniappe HD is distributed each Thursday. Lagniappe HD offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. For more information or to place your ad call Jackie at 251-4504466. Or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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