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APRIL 6, 2017 - APRIL 12, 2017 |

ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor ROB HOLBERT Co-publisher/Managing Editor STEVE HALL Marketing/Sales Director GABRIEL TYNES Assistant Managing Editor DALE LIESCH Reporter JASON JOHNSON Reporter JANE NICHOLES Reporter

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Superintendent Martha Peek disagrees with the U.S. Secretary of Education’s evaluation of local school choice initiatives.


Let’s not be fooled again, Alabama. Choosing a governor is serious business.


A ceremony recognizing general excellence and a recent startup weekend event foreshadow an entrepreneurial intensity rarely, if ever, seen in Mobile.


KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor STEPHEN CENTANNI Music Editor J. MARK BRYANT Sports Writer STEPHANIE POE Copy Editor DANIEL ANDERSON Chief Photographer LAURA RASMUSSEN Art Director BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive

18 SouthSounds Guide

With its largest lineup yet, the 2017 SouthSounds Music & Arts Festival features Big Freedia (pictured), JoJo’s Slim Wednesday, Blair Crimmins and more.

BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive

Dave Dondero will be playing at Satori Coffeehouse Friday April 7.

MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant

JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager CONTRIBUTORS: Lee Hedgepeth, Ron Sivak, Jeff Poor, Asia Frey, Brian Holbert, Ken Robinson ON THE COVER: BIG FREEDIA PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTHSOUNDS 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: or 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.

For Lagniappe home delivery visit


ALEEN MOMBERGER Advertising Sales Executive

ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager

With casual comfort on the waterfront, The River Shack under the Dog River Bridge offers all your seafood favorites.

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Young Mobilian Jamie Ellis is joining a league of local polymaths.


Fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford’s directorial debut, “Nocturnal Animals,” is disturbing and dull.


Cirque Italia, the first traveling water circus, is coming to Mobile with a spectacular show you won’t want to miss!


Former University of South Alabama cheerleader Kayley Burdine is riding with the Sho-Air Cycling Group.


Shenanigans at the Flora-Bama and St. Mary’s Crawfish-Bluegrass Extravaganza hits MiMo!

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THE ART OF DISCOURSE Editor: Normally, I do not get worked up about the waste of a resource by Mobilians. Many people have been disadvantaged by wasting away their opportunities to better themselves. They do not take advantage of the hand up, preferring the hand out. Elected officials are resources. Election of anyone to office is a platform to let everyone see if we support a progressive or regressive government to steer the majority of issues considered important by our community. If you don’t vote, don’t squawk about how things are. If you do vote and candidates on your slate are not victorious, find like-minded people on any issues and peacefully challenge the thinking on those issues. Try to change the thinking but not attack the person. As a community we got in our own way by wasting the resources in a recent town hall meeting by Congressman Bradley Byrne, who had come home to gauge the thoughts of the community before major votes on issues at the national level. People in the community were not progressive enough to listen to his report back on the national agenda that affects changes in our daily lives. He would have listened to comments on the issues to form an opinion on how the majority wanted him to vote and our concerns. Instead of being able to do his job, which we pay him for, he was treated to people having diverse agendas of their own and way out of line. How can you waste valuable time and a valuable resource? Disrupting a town hall meeting is a way to miss out on a national vote on health care and several other issues on the national agenda.

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I hope our community is educated enough to know we wasted a resource. Our voice was disrupted. Whether for or against the health care issues — in-fighting with individual problems cause the issues at hand to lack attention by the community. We wasted a resource again. Come on Mobile, get it together! Francise E. Hervert Mobile

THESE GO TO 11 Editor: I would like to write about something missing from this area. I’ve lived and worked from coast to coast to coast, from New York to Miami, to Seattle, Detroit and a few other stops along the way. The population of the combined Gulf Coast region we all love — Pascagoula, Mobile and Pensacola — has approximately 1,271,000 people, which is enough of a market to be able to support what I am proposing. In our area, we have a hard rock station, a classic rock station, a classic hits station and a station that calls itself the only true alternative, playing everything from roots to blues to local artists and a lot of jazz too. We have three stations on our FM dial that have Delilah on at the same time every night (the three adult contemporary stations), and in our listening area we have four (count ‘em), FOUR country stations on FM. There are two or three talk-show stations, and a couple of all-sports stations too, and a couple of urban contemporary stations on FM, not to mention three Top

40 hits stations. What is missing here is a station that can cover what is known as alternative rock. This format has actually become the “classic rock” of the millennials now. I am talking about a station that plays music you would hear on stations across the country with the slogan “the new rock alternative” or “alt rock” — it’s simply the music genre that began with Nirvana and the breakout artists of the Pacific Northwest — the Seattle sound, grunge, modern rock, however you label it, this music genre has become mainstream everywhere else in the country, but is missing from our airwaves here. The age demographic for this style of music is 18-to34-year-olds, which has always been the goldmine for advertisers. If a station here played this kind of music, from 1990 forward with a heavy rotation of currents, recurrents and the familiar alternative (yes, I said familiar) songs of the ‘90s, it would become the No. 1 station in this target audience within a year. I have a background in radio, marketing, promotions, but my best experience in the business was as music director. I would love to help put together a winning successful station like this, but only if it had a range that would cover the entire area, from Pascagoula to Pensacola. As long as we have this new rock alternative void in our radio market, we will not be able to realize the successes this target market demographic could potentially deliver. If any station owners or [general managers] want to know more, you can easily find me on Facebook. Kenny Klinzman Daphne


Lost in translation



hen United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos criticized the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) last week for lacking accessible school choice options, local educators were as surprised as they were concerned. Confirmed in February as President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Education, DeVos made her remarks about the county’s public schools before the Brookings Institution, during a speech highlighting results of the 2016 Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI). ECCI is an annual report that evaluates and ranks “the conditions for K-12 school choice” among the country’s largest public school districts. With nearly 60,000 students enrolled, MCPSS is the largest school district in Alabama and the only school district in the state included in the report. However, the ECCI has routinely ranked MCPSS among the bottom of larger school districts across the country and this year ranked the district dead last. While DeVos acknowledged some “nominal” options offered to MCPSS students and parents, she singled out the district for finding itself ranked 112th out of 112 school systems. “I’m glad [the ECCI] has highlighted such districts as Mobile, Alabama, that nominally provide choice but don’t give parents adequate tools to take advantage of those programs,” DeVos said. “As a parent, you can’t take advantage of a choice you don’t know exists.” In other words, DeVos was more critical of the way MCPSS gets the word out about its educational options than she was of the district’s programs themselves. She also said MCPSS and the 26 other districts receiving an “F” rating should “find better ways” of getting citizens the information they need to make choices about their children’s education. However, according to MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek, the Brookings Institution’s report makes most of its determinations based on information found online. She pointed out MCPSS was never contacted about the ECCI, and officials had “no knowledge of the report” until DeVos’ comments started generating buzz locally. “From what I can discern, this is an audit they do utilizing websites of school districts across the country, and of course, we’ve been working with our website this year and are continuing to refine it,” Peek told Lagniappe. “Still, I was really surprised the U.S. Secretary of Education would make the comments she did based on what I understand to be a website review.” With 13 points of focus, the ECCI looks at whether a school district offers options such as magnet programs, private school vouchers, tax credit scholarships, alternative schools, charter programs and virtual schools. Yet, as Peek pointed out, MCPSS has some version of nearly all of those, with the ones not offered being largely prohibited by state law. Alabama also didn’t pass legislation authorizing charter school programs until 2015, and in fact, the state’s first program is scheduled

to be opened by the Mobile Area Education Foundation later this year — an effort Peek said MCPSS is “working to be a partner in.” Logan Searcy, who works with the Alabama Charter School Commission on behalf of the Alabama State Department of Education, said it was odd DeVos choose to single out Mobile because the system offers several school choice options. “To me, it was somewhat ironic she chose to highlight Mobile,” Searcy said. “They’ve been most supportive of school choice, and Martha Peek has also been supportive of MAEF in their work to open the state’s first charter school, and I think that should definitely be stated.” With those factors being considered, Peek urged the Brookings Institution to consider things like “state laws, school demographics and local initiatives” in the future, as opposed to just comparing school districts based on their size alone. Since 2014, MCPSS has added its seventh magnet program, created the state’s second virtual academy and established signature academy programs at each of its 12 high schools dedicated to a specific curriculum or occupational interest. Students can also transfer to any of those academies regardless of school zone, with the district offering transportation. Collie Wells, who oversees career technical education and workforce development for ALSDE, said options like that “should certainly be highlighted” in any conversations about school choice. According to Peek, those are just a few of the ways MCPSS has been “working diligently” to expand its school choice options over the past few years, adding the district already offers “more than any other in the state.” However, she said, that might not be something a person performing an audit would pick up on “just from a website.” “The report relies heavily on parents having access to information through a website, but that’s not necessarily the case in our area and in Alabama, where not everyone has that access in their homes,” Peek said. “That’s why we do bus tours and host Signature Academy fairs and try to get information out in a lot of different ways rather than just depending on the internet.” Shortly after DeVos’ remarks, MCPSS extended her office an invitation to visit some of the schools in the local system for a first-hand look at the options available for students and parents. So far, no response from DeVos has been received. Though Peek said she doesn’t put too much stock in rankings like the ECCI, she does have concerns about the impression those reports could give to someone taking them at face value. “If people don’t read and understand what the grade means, all they see is an ‘F,’” Peek said. “These lists come and go, but when you have someone saying, ‘Oh well, you know Mobile, Alabama,’ like they’re hoping to light a fire under us, I want to them to come here and see the fire is already burning.”

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ix local attorneys are lining up for three spots in what could make for an unusually crowded field of judicial candidates in Mobile County. With Circuit Judges Roderick Stout and Robert Smith as well as District Judge Bob Sherling all reaching the age limit of 70 years old before the 2018 election, there look to be at least three open spots on the bench. Attorneys Don Beebe, Wesley Pipes, Harry Satterwhite, Barney March, Derrick Williams and George Zoghby will be running as Republicans for those spots. Beebe, a 65-year-old attorney with 41 years of legal experience, said serving in Smith’s seat on the bench would be his way of paying back the community. “The reason I want to be a judge is I started my career as a clerk for Richard L. Jones,” Beebe said. “I looked up to him and saw the impact judges can have on society.” Beebe said he has primarily been a trial lawyer doing corporate defense work. However, he added, as a former prosecutor, he believes he has a leg up over other candidates. But Beebe would only be eligible to serve one term on the bench before aging out, by state law. He said he has never submitted his name to the Mobile County Judicial Nominating Commission, and even if the board has a chance to help name Smith’s replacement, he’d still run for the spot. “I welcome competition,” Beebe said. “I don’t think anyone should be anointed.” Pipes, who is 47, has also announced his intention to run for Smith’s seat on the bench. He looks to line up against Beebe in the Republican primary for that spot in

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June 2018. “It’s a great honor to be a judge, but it’s also service to the public. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity with so many open races. The time is right and the opportunity is there.” Pipes started as an attorney in 1995 in litigation defense. He now focuses more on real estate law, he said, and has 21 years of experience. He said he also has no trepidation about running even if the nominating committee has an opportunity to find a replacement for Smith. Candidates by law cannot begin raising money until one year prior to a primary election. In this case, that’s June. March is set to run against Satterwhite for Stout’s seat on the bench. March said he loves the legal system and that’s a big reason why he wants to become a judge at this point in his career. “I think [the court] needs people willing to serve the system and not just doing a job,” he said. Being a judge would add to March’s career of serving the public. The 50-year-old started out practicing insurance defense, handling workers’ compensation, property disputes and “a wide variety” of other things. He now focuses on commercial litigation, as well as bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. March said he also works mental illness cases. In addition to helping start a voluntary guardianship organization, March also represents AltaPointe Health Systems and Mobile Infirmary in involuntary commitment cases. Satterwhite has been practicing law for 22 years and

views Stout’s seat on the bench as the next logical step. “I want to take the next challenge in the legal profession,” he said. He began working on insurance defense before “hanging out a shingle by myself,” and representing plaintiffs and defendants in property disputes. Now, he said, he handles a lot of business-related cases and a lot of litigation. At 54, Satterwhite said he’s never run for judge before and never put his name in for appointment through the nominating commission. He has been a member of the county’s Republican Party executive committee since 2002 and on the steering committee for 11 years. He said he knew Stout would have to retire and wants to replace him with a member of the GOP. “No disrespect to him, but I’m a Republican,” Satterwhite said. “I’m running because he’s a Democrat.” Finally, Zoghby and White plan to face off for Sherling’s seat in 2018. Zoghby said he wants to become a judge in order to serve the public. “I know it’s cliche, but it is the honest truth,” he said. “There comes a time in your life when you want to do something more for people.” The 51-year-old has been practicing law for 25 years. He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts and handles mostly civil cases. Zoghby said he has never before been up for a position through the nominating commission. He said one reason more attorneys don’t run for judgeships is because the bench has been good for years. However, with the number of seats coming up, a crowded field was to be expected. “With it being an open seat, obviously you’re going to have more people running,” he said. Williams has served as a prosecutor for the city of Mobile for eight years. At 35 years old, Williams said he has the criminal-work legal background needed to replace Sherling on the bench. Williams said he would be tough, fair and work to help put an end to what he called the city’s crime problem. Williams said he’d be tough on crime. “Somebody needs to do something about crime,” he said. “That’s not a knock on any of the current judges; they are doing the best they can. Sherling was a good judge … tough. There needs to be someone as tough as him to take over.” Because about 80 percent of the cases coming before district judges are criminal in nature, Williams said he’s “extremely qualified” for the position. Williams was a finalist to replace Judge Jay York on the district bench, but Gov. Robert Bentley picked Jill Phillips instead.


Background noise



s the trial of former doctors John Patrick Couch and Xiulu Ruan dragged on, the 16 jurors hearing the case were waging their own battles against mental fatigue, illness and, for some, preconceived notions they brought with them into the courthouse. For nearly eight weeks, 10 women and six men spent seven hours a day in the jury box of U.S. District Court Judge Ginny Granade’s courtroom. At stake was the fate of two doctors, but also a verdict expected to have lasting implications for the practice of pain management nationwide. After more than 200 hours of testimony, the jury found Ruan and Couch guilty of a slew of federal violations, including the first RICO charges ever successfully brought against medical professionals in the United States. Despite their grueling responsibility, a handful of jurors who spoke with Lagniappe — some on the condition their identities be concealed — said a bond formed between those who ended up serving, and at times they actually had a little bit of fun. “We had people who would do skits and sort of mock some of the witnesses … it was a wide-open bunch of folks,” juror Edward Walters said. “In a sense, I guess it was good for sanity to have a light moment, but then someone would always say, ‘look, this is serious stuff.’” Walters, a retired counselor, was one of four alternates on the jury — a realization he described as “disappointing” after sitting through two months of testimony. However, Walters was able to provide an account of what the jury saw behind the scenes during the trial. In the height of cold season, it wasn’t unusual or even unexpected to hear coughing or sniffling coming from the jury box. About three weeks in, though, Walters said the court staff became concerned sickness could spread among the jurors and potentially delay the trial. Around the same time, a member of Granade’s staff addressed the issue with the jury. “She came into the break room and said, in essence, ‘the judge knows a couple of you are not feeling well. There are things going around, and we don’t want everyone to get sick,’” he said, paraphrasing. “She mentioned two women by name, and said, ‘it’s OK to leave.’” An employee in Judge Granade’s office said those situations are handled on a “case-by-case basis,” but the court will “generally dismiss a person from serving” if they “bring [an illness] to our attention or their symptoms are obvious.” However, Walters said to his knowledge the jurors addressed by name hadn’t complained of being sick. They also didn’t leave, though two others eventually did. Deliberations were affected by illness as well, after another male juror was excused due to medical complications. That left just two alternates available, one of which was Walters. Though he ultimately wasn’t called back, Walters spoke with the court a few times about his availability. Walters said he used those conversations as an opportunity to get a message to Judge

Granade. The message was that one of the jurors had “announced when she came in the building that she’d made up her mind before she’d ever got to the courthouse.” However, what Walters didn’t know at the time was that Granade had already addressed similar concerns over the same female juror — one of the two women Walters and another second juror said were given the “OK to leave” earlier in the trial by a member of the court’s staff. In the last week of testimony, Granade called all the attorneys into her chambers to hear from a juror who’d approached the court after overhearing biased statements made by the same juror. According to the meeting’s transcript, the woman said she overheard her fellow juror saying something to herself — something like “doctors do this everywhere, people are doing this all the time, every day. They’ve already done it. Just get over it.” While attorneys for both of the defendants didn’t take issue with that juror continuing her service, prosecutors asked Granade to interview her directly to determine if she’d “already made up her mind.” Initially, Granade disagreed. “She obviously was talking to herself, and I just don’t think there’s enough for me to question her. I think questioning her may make her really uncomfortable and I don’t think it rises to that level at this time,” Granade added. “So, I intend to do nothing unless there’s a vociferous objection to it or unless something else comes to light.” No such objection was made, but after both sides finished their closing arguments two days later, Granade revisited the subject of her own volition — telling the lawyers at sidebar she planned to make that female juror an alternate based on what she’d reportedly said. Attorneys for Ruan and Couch both strongly objected, claiming there was “no basis at all” to change the jury they’d already struck. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Griffin again said the perception of prejudgement on the jury’s part warranted some kind of action. “The juror that reported it, obviously there had been something that bothered her. She said she had continued thinking about it and reported it because they were told not to be talking and not to have any preconceived notions,” Griffin said. “She heard this juror talking either to herself or talking out loud, clearly, about having some preconceived notions.” In an exchange with the defense, Granade said she didn’t want “anything in this record to cloud whatever [the] verdict might be,” but Ruan’s attorney, Dennis Knizley, said the record wouldn’t be clouded because the defense didn’t object and the government couldn’t appeal. In the end, though, Granade’s original inclination seemed to shift. She ultimately allowed the woman to serve on the jury that would go on to convict Ruan and Couch of 19 federal charges after just two full days of deliberation. Their assets were also seized and they were stripped of their medical licenses. Both are planning to appeal their convictions.

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t’s been nearly a month since former Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Parsons was caught buying illegal drugs in a sting set up by fellow law enforcement officers, yet warrants for his arrest remain unsigned by his former employer. While Parsons has been terminated from MCSO, he’s expected to face criminal charges for possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of prescription drugs from Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich’s office. While those warrants are prepared, they have not yet been signed and executed by MCSO. Weeks after his termination, those details were brought to light after Rich denied a request from Sheriff Sam Cochran to put Parsons’ case before a grand jury. “The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office asked us to take this case straight to the grand jury. We disagreed that it was necessary,” Rich told Lagniappe. “There’s no legitimate reason to hold these cases up and present them to a grand jury.” The request to do so came with a letter from Cochran on March 22, but in her response Rich said doing so would deviate from her office’s “normal screening process.” Meanwhile, Cochran has said his investigators are “ready to assist in [Parsons’] prosecution.” Many believe he’s received preferential treatment because of his former position with MCSO and because of his father, Lonnie Parsons, is the chief of support services for the department. However, MCSO spokeswoman Lori Myles said it

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isn’t rare to request a case be handled through the grand jury process. Speaking with Lagniappe, she said there were concerns that if Parsons was arrested and his case went straight to court, as Rich wants, the identities of the informants who handled the internal investigation into his actions could be compromised. She also said some of the drugs MCSO seized haven’t yet been returned from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS). “One of the reasons we did an internal investigation is because we wanted to make sure no one else in this office was involved or was covering for him,” Myles said. “The sheriff has said he’s not going to arrest someone in treatment. He’s going to be arrested and face charges. That’s a given, but we’re not going to go and snatch him out of treatment.” According to Myles, Cochran’s decision to allow Parsons to finish his drug treatment didn’t have anything to do with his family’s’ ties to the department. Rather, it was based on conversations he’d had with “people in the treatment community.” Myles also said Rich’s office has the authority to sign the warrants “if she wants to be so emphatic” about the case, though as of April 4 Parsons had not been arrested by anyone. However, the incident that led to Parsons’ termination is not his first involving illegal drugs. He received an 80-hour suspension last October after misplacing evidence he initially claimed to have lost. According to Myles, that evidence was a bag of crystal meth — one Parsons later produced before telling his supervisors that he’d “found it in his car.”

“A witness that was with him attested that it looked like the crystal meth that was taken from a prisoner, and it was also sent to the ADFS to prove it was the same substance,” Myles said. “When that occurred, we really began paying attention and trying to set something up.” What they set up was the March 6 sting operation that led to Parsons’ termination. The sting was planned after Myles said MCSO “received information” suggesting Parsons might be purchasing and using drugs. After an internal investigation by MCSO and the Saraland Police Department, Parsons was caught in the act on March 6. However, instead of being arrested he was taken to his house. When his equipment and service vehicle were taken from him, deputies found marijuana and another ”controlled substance” in his patrol car. Though Parsons was off duty at the time, Myles said he had “bought the drugs while in his patrol car.” Myles said the department worked to keep the knowledge of the internal

ONE OF THE REASONS WE DID AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION IS BECAUSE WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE NO ONE ELSE IN THIS OFFICE WAS INVOLVED OR WAS COVERING FOR HIM. THE SHERIFF HAS SAID HE’S NOT GOING TO ARREST SOMEONE IN TREATMENT. HE’S GOING TO BE ARRESTED AND FACE CHARGES. THAT’S A GIVEN, BUT WE’RE NOT GOING TO GO AND SNATCH HIM OUT OF TREATMENT.” -LORI MYLES, MCSO SPOKESWOMAN investigation into Parsons limited to undercover narcotics officers. That was done partially to ensure no other officers were involved but also because of his father’s employment with MCSO. When asked, Myles said Lonnie Parsons was informed only after his son had been caught, adding that he was “very surprised” by the news.


Executive exposed




report scheduled to be released this week by the lawyer for the legislative committee considering the potential impeachment of Gov. Robert Bentley may bring the Alabama House closer than ever before to a vote on the Republican leader’s political future. Jack Sharman, special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, is set to present the findings of his investigation into potential misconduct by the two-term governor to the body on Friday, over the objections of Bentley’s legal team. Bentley’s chief attorney in the matter, Ross Garber, says impeachment is a “grave” decision that cannot be made quickly or taken lightly, and calls the committee’s special counsel “out-ofcontrol.” “The citizens of Alabama went to the polls,” Garber told media at a press conference in Montgomery. “They cast their votes for governor. Their votes shouldn’t be thrown out because of an unelected private lawyer.” Garber is no stranger to political maelstroms, having represented former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford in the impeachment proceedings against him; As governor, Sanford had disappeared with his mistress in Argentina for over a week, but Garber was able to help prevent Sanford’s impeachment by a large margin. Now, Garber is defending Bentley, who is accused of misusing state resources in association with his admittedly inappropriate relationship with former top aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason. In this fight, Garber is hitting hard at the counsel on the opposing team, taking direct aim at Sharman. “I believe the vast majority of the members of the committee are in the dark on what the special counsel is up to,” Garber told reporters. “They had no idea he created this process.”

At the end of March, Sharman sent a letter to Bentley and members of the committee setting out a tentative timeline for the impeachment to proceed. “There are a number of variables, internal and external, that could have an impact on this schedule,” Sharman wrote to Bentley’s legal team on March 23. “In addition, you have indicated the Office of the Governor, Gov. Robert Bentley personally, or both, may file a lawsuit. Obviously, litigation could change any schedule.” The proposed schedule begins Friday, April 7, with Sharman presenting the committee, the governor and the public with a conclusion of his investigation into Bentley’s alleged misdeeds. Following that report, four days of hearings will be held in mid-April, followed by a committee vote on the charges May 1 and a final House vote on impeachment May 9. Bentley’s attorneys oppose the timeline, though, saying it robs the governor of due process. “This timeframe is completely unreasonable and insufficient for the governor to prepare a defense,” Garber and David Byrne, Bentley’s legal advisor, wrote in response to Sharman’s proposed timeline. However, Sharman — who worked for one of the House committees that investigated Bill Clinton in the 1990s — says Bentley’s legal maneuvering isn’t about justice. “Unfortunately, this is just largely an effort to impede the investigation,” he said, adding that due process is afforded in a trial, which would occur in the Senate if the process makes it that far, but not in the House, which is the first step toward impeachment. “This is not a trial,” Sharman said. “It’s an investigation to help the committee make a recommendation.”

Brand new gig




ormer Mobile County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Charlie Graddick has been named a senior judicial advisor for the city and will be paid roughly $100,000 per year. City Attorney Ricardo Woods said Graddick would be paid $8,333.34 per month to advise Mayor Sandy Stimpson and other members of the executive staff on municipal court and judicial issues. Woods added Graddick would help the municipal, district and circuit courts all work together more efficiently. “We are pleased and proud to add Judge Graddick to the outstanding team of leaders who are helping us transform the city of Mobile,” Stimpson said in a statement. In the statement, Woods said Graddick’s deep knowledge of the judicial and legal systems will be a valuable resource for the city’s legal staff. “I welcome the wise counsel of Judge Graddick and look forward to working closely with him,” Woods said. “His experience will be a great benefit to us as we continue improving our municipal court system and the overall operation of legal services as they relate to the courts.” Graddick, a native of Mobile, served as a circuit judge in Mobile County since 2004 and as presiding judge since 2006. He could not run for re-election in 2016 because of his age, and since

January has been working as a special Circuit Court judge. As a special judge appointed by Alabama’s chief justice, Graddick received retirement from the state but did not receive a salary. “Although I have been assisting our Circuit Court as a special judge, this will allow me an opportunity to become much more engaged and continue my public service,” Graddick wrote in an email. “It is my desire to provide [Mayor Stimpson] and his administration with my years of experience, as an administrator and practitioner in both the judicial and legal professions … My intention will be to bring to the Stimpson administration what I hope will be a wise, practical and thoughtful counsel.” Graddick wrote he will initially focus on the city’s judicial system and overall operation of legal services. He will not encroach on the authority of Woods, he wrote. “Additionally, the mayor has encouraged I share my thoughts, analysis and opinions to him on other issues as well to help improve city services,” he wrote. “I look forward to this new role in my professional life.” Graddick is a former district attorney in Mobile and Montgomery counties and a former state attorney general. As a lawyer in private practice, he represented all types of clients ranging from pro bono, indigent individuals to Fortune 500 companies.

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spective violations will be weighed as police decide whether to seek revocation of the stores’ business licenses through the Mobile County Council. “If [someone] wanted to argue that they didn’t know these items were drug paraphernalia, they certainly know it now,” Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said. “We’ve sent a very strong message that none of these items are allowed to be possessed or sold by convenience store owners.” However, those comments appear to be at odds with Barber’s claim that “none of this stuff is illegal by itself.” There’s also a widespread misconception in the general public that pipes or bongs require evidence of having been used to ingest illegal drugs in order to be considered paraphernalia. Addressing that, Rich defined paraphernalia as “any item that can be used to ingest any illegal substance.” Indeed, Alabama’s criminal code makes no distinction among items that do or do not have “residue” from illegal drugs on them. Instead, it broadly defines paraphernalia as anything “used, intended for use or designed for use” in the production and consumption of controlled substances. However, defense attorney Richard Shields — a former prosecutor and special district judge for Mobile County — told Lagniappe possession of paraphernalia is very rarely charged by itself, and it’s also uncommon to see someone charged with multiple counts of it. “I don’t know that I’ve ever had any client charged with paraphernalia, only because it’s almost invariably going to be charged along with something else,” he said. “An aluminum can is oftentimes used to smoke crack, but for it to be paraphernalia, you’ve got to show [it’s] in some way related to drug use, sales or distribution.” However, Shields did agree that the “totality of circumstances” is considered when evaluating the possession of

Photo | Lagniappe

olice seized thousands of dollars’ worth of pipes, bongs and other devices from nearly a dozen local convenience stores last week — “a strong message” to the owners that using businesses to sell drug paraphernalia won’t be tolerated in Mobile. After a six-month investigation, the Mobile Police Department executed search warrants on 10 convenience stores and five residential homes linked to their owners. Though some of the items seized are commonly used to ingest or prepare illegal drugs like crack cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine, most are fairly common in gas stations, vape shops and novelty stores in Mobile. In fact, Maj. John Barber, head of the Field Operations Division, said, “None of this stuff is illegal by itself. “You can sell this and you can sell this,” he said, going through some of the items. “However, when you’ve got them behind the counter and they’re packaged by someone other than the manufacturer, that’s different. It’s the totality of the circumstances that makes it illegal.” He was referring to small, unmarked bags sold in some of the stores that contain glass pipes used to smoke crack cocaine as well as copper “scrubbers” often used as makeshift filters. In some stores those filters were being sold pre-sized to fit into certain pipes. In all, the operation led to 16 arrests, though most were the result of misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia. At least one arrest was for felony possession of kratom — a natural leaf containing two alkaloids outlawed by Alabama’s Legislature last May. Two illegal immigrants were also found working in one of the gas stations and have since been turned over to federal authorities to face deportation. As of Monday, all of the stores targeted in the operation remain open for business, though Barber said an investigation is ongoing. Their history and the severity of their re-

THE MOBILE POLICE DEPARTMENT SEIZED HUNDREDS OF PIPES AND BONGS LAST WEEK FROM SEVERAL LOCAL CONVENIENCE STORES. drug paraphernalia. According to MPD, additional charges may be possible as the investigation continues and the department receives the results of tests being conducted by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. Some of the products sent for testing were purported to contain CBD oil and field-tested positively for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the active ingredient in marijuana. In addition to hundreds of products, police seized $508,537 in cash and frozen bank assets. According to police, some of the stores were selling items and depositing the cash proceeds into business-related accounts. However, determining which proceeds came from “paraphernalia” and which were earned legally is a task that will fall to the DA’s office. “If we can prove those proceeds are going into these respective bank accounts, then we can seize those accounts because this is money made off illegal paraphernalia,” Rich said. “Then we’ll argue in court that the vast majority of money in these accounts is coming from the illegal possession and sale of paraphernalia.”

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Speaking of Montgomery matters, perhaps the most bizarre bill trying to wend its way across Goat Hill is Rep. Jack Williams’ (the one from Jefferson County) plan to make it illegal to sell any internet-accessing

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challenges. And there probably aren’t too many people who would feel comfortable with a letter filed away somewhere in the state government’s offices that declare a desire to watch porn. It would be interesting to know how many of the co-signers on that bill are against a lottery for religious reasons as well. It seems to me they’re willing to allow the sin of looking at porn as long as you pay $20, but not willing to allow the sin of gambling for a dollar or two. Alabama has had a run over the past few years of passing some laws that violate free speech, and this is just the latest attempt. The Legislature has already made it illegal to publish expunged records, as well as the mug shots of people arrested for prostitution. Now some of them want to push this seemingly unconstitutional porn blocker bill. While I’m not advocating surfing porn, the idea that the government should determine what legal websites Alabamians can and can’t access smacks of censorship. And that you can buy your way out with a crisp $20 and some embarrassment smacks of good old-fashioned hypocrisy. Shouldn’t it be left up to parents to put porn blocking software on their computers and phones? Then the kid can pay mom and dad the $20 and write a letter about how all his friends can look at porn and how dorky he feels because he can’t. We don’t need a state law destroying the natural order of things.


Porn blocking

device without “porn blocking” software. While that plan is simple enough on its surface to perhaps warrant a good debate about government censorship versus protecting children from filth, the kicker is that the bill allows those purchasing the device a way out to get that sweet, sweet porn. If you want to surf the web for filth, all you have to do is pay $20 and send a letter to the state government. So in other words, Williams and the 23 other legislators who’ve signed onto this bill are against the availability of porn, unless you pay the government a 20 spot and hand over a letter to some unnamed agency professing your affinity for pornography. It’s all sort of reminiscent of the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church sold “indulgences,” essentially allowing a sinner to pay his way out of punishment in the afterlife. If Rep. Williams really believes in keeping people in Alabama from having access to porn on their brand new phone or computer, then why allow a buyout? Sin is sin, right? He offers the example of the state banning underage people from adult bookstores as one that shows the government reaching out to protect children. But there’s also no monetary way to circumvent that law. You can’t send the state $20 and say you want to go buy a dirty book and get an OK to do so. The idea of the letter is one I doubt would have an easy time passing legal

Cartoon/Laura Rasmussen


he quadrennial speculation that a former Auburn sports figure will run for governor has reared its head again — only this time it’s not Charles Barkley talking about becoming the state’s top official. Believe it or not, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville has filed the paperwork to run for governor. It’s exciting to think of “The Riverboat Gambler” tossing his cap into the ring. Really, if any state should be run by a football coach shouldn’t it be Alabama? California has had a couple of actors helm the government, which flows naturally with the state’s Tinsel Town zeitgeist. When people in the other 49 states think of Alabama, I’d have to imagine football is right up there with racism and Forrest Gump in terms of what comes immediately to mind. Right now it looks like Tubby will at least be facing Public Service Commission Chairwoman Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and State Auditor Jim Zeigler, both of whom are set to run. And, of course, there’s the usual discussion of exiled Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore rising up with great righteousness to lead a holy quest for the Governor’s Mansion. But as much as a populist, a woman named Twinkle and a religious zealot would soothe Alabama’s psyche, nothing can touch the concept of a college football coach running this state. Admittedly I haven’t heard a single idea from Tubby’s platform and I really don’t know much about his personal politics, or if he’s even capable of running a good political race. So while he is appealing, I have to warn you my feelings could easily change. It’s sad I’m so wishy-washy. Of course Tuberville’s first major hurdle would be convincing the Alabama fans qualified to vote that he can be trusted in spite of his Auburn background. That could prove tough, especially since he was on the sidelines for six straight Iron Bowl wins. He’s probably going to have to get a special dispensation from Nick Saban to get past that roadblock. After that, though, it should be smooth sailing. In the debates he should answer every question using football terminology, and wear a ball cap and a whistle while doing so. He should also push for things like Legislative Instant Replay, where the governor can throw a yellow flag if legislators pass an especially idiotic bill. We’d probably have to limit it to three per session so Tubby wouldn’t throw his shoulder out. And with a nickname like “The Riverboat Gambler,” it’s a no-brainer that Gov. Tuberville would get behind a statewide lottery and allowing more casino gambling. (That’s a guess on my part, but it makes total sense.) So, welcome to Alabama politics, Tubby! I know it doesn’t always work out so well when a celebrity with no prior legislative experience takes over leadership of the government, but given the Luv Guv’s performance we’ve got nowhere to go but up.



Let’s not be fooled again, Alabama



pril Fool’s Day came and went and about the only thing that really “got us” was a line of bad weather that wasn’t all that bad, but still served to shut down most area schools last Monday. Teachers and students rejoiced but parents said “Good one, Mother Nature. Are you going to take care of my kids today?” Aside from a joke of a weather system, though, there didn’t seem to be as much of a concerted effort to “fool us” for this silly “holiday” as there has been in years past. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t already being played for ones even though we are far past April 1 now. Shall we take a look at some of the people in this great state who are still making us look like a bunch fools, or those who still just might?

Lovernor Robert Bentley and the Masons

Someone, some (governmental) body, anybody, please, please, please just make them all go away. As this issue hits the streets, the state Ethics Commission is supposed to announce the findings of its investigation into whether or not the governor misused state funds to cover up his relationship with his former adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason. We have all now heard the infamous tape of our Luv Guv talking about just how much he loved holding his lady adviser’s boobies and how they needed to move his assistant’s desk so Wanda couldn’t hear them. Ewww. Ewwww. Ewwww. Ewwwwww. He should be impeached just for making us all have to conjure those images. On a side note, I do hope Wanda’s desk ends up in the state history museum. That sure would make those fourth-grade trips to Montgomery a lot more interesting. But if the commission finds he did use state resources to facilitate or cover up this affair, as has been alleged, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to proceed with impeachment proceedings. If impeached, Bentley would be removed from office immediately and then tried in the Senate. If the Senate acquits him, he could return to office. Otherwise, he’s out, and in addition to being removed from office he could face criminal charges. It has been rumored that if the Ethics Commission rules against him, the lovesick governor would resign from office before the Judiciary Committee started impeachment proceedings, but he has yet to show any willingness to back down from this or to even accept any real responsibility for his actions. After causing the state and his family such embarrassment and while he was being investigated, he still had the gall to take the Masons with him to Trump’s inauguration on the state plane. Talk giving the finger to the state of Alabama. The man either has cojones the size of the capitol dome or is so mesmerized by this woman (barf) he just can’t help himself. I think the latter is far more likely and far more dangerous. I hope by the end of the week we will have

turned the page of this yearlong state soap opera/nightmare. It is time to restore some dignity back to the office of the governor — whatever little was left anyway. And it is time to stop this old “fool in love” from making this state look even more foolish.

But be careful what we wish for …

As Bentley’s possible resignation and/or his removal from office looms, lots of names are being thrown around on who will run in 2018. Many of these names are just pure speculation, though some have made it official, including former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville. It will be fun to see how this plays out, as Alabama is a state far more polarized by two football teams than two political parties. While Tubs is sure to pick up the red vote, can he also get the crimson ones? Would Harvey Updyke poison all the trees on the capitol grounds if the former Tiger coach happened to be elected? Would the Iron Bowl be permanently moved to the Plains by executive order? Would all Alabamians be required to roll the trees in our yards when we receive good economic development news? Our own Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s name has been thrown out there, but I think there is a better chance of Mobile’s First Lady murdering him if he even thought about throwing his MOB cap in the ring than him actually doing it. There would certainly be two potential candidates who would have names that would be fun to say for four to eight years. You know, because that’s good reason to vote for someone. Governor Twinkle or Governor Boozer. The real question is, though, would a Boozer be better than a Lovernor? But I am a little scared by one perennial candidate who may actually have a shot this time, and that is former Judge Roy Moore. I have never really thought he was a viable candidate for governor. He has tried and failed. But in this political climate we’re currently living in, where people would rather just burn the whole thing down, he is similar to the kind of “change agent” Alabamians overwhelmingly just voted to put in the West Wing. As I chatted with one Alabama political mover and shaker about this frightening prospect, I scoffed at the idea that people would actually vote for him when it came down to it, especially South Alabama voters. The mover/shaker quipped, “It’s not the coast that would put him in office, it’s all the snake handlers in North Alabama who would.” This is a terrifying prospect on a couple of levels. Obviously because it involves snakes. And snakes are scary. But it is even more terrifying to think about the idea of moving from one scandal-ridden governor to another — one who has already been removed and suspended from state office not once but twice. Fool me once, shame on him. Fool me twice, shame on us. But fool us three times? Well, we would be a state of fools who get the government we truly deserve. Let’s not “fool” ourselves again, Alabama.

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Good-Time Charley and the race for governor BY LEE HEDGEPETH/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


ome Nov. 6, 2018, Alabama will elect a new governor. Whether it’s the state constitution’s term limits or the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings that seals his fate first, “reach-around Robert Bentley” will be top dog no longer. That fact isn’t lost on Montgomery, either, where every politico on Goat Hill is lining up, waiting for the music to stop so they can fight their way into the governor’s chair. Already, a handful of candidates have announced their electoral intentions, and others are preparing to do the same. Now, then, is the time for Alabamians to step back, take a deep breath, and look at our options — the businessmen, the populists, the policymakers, and the demagogues — and pick our cream of the crop. Sadly, though, when it comes to politics in the Heart of Dixie, there’s no shortage of bad candidates. It’s the good candidates you want, and right now in Alabama it’s pretty slim pickings. By 1947, the world was a very different place than it had been just a decade earlier. Governors across the United States — particularly in the South — were finally coming into significant political power over economics and social life in a way that hadn’t been seen before the Great Depression. In that year and in that context, Florida’s then-governor made an astute observation about the importance of a chief executive’s judgment in an increasingly powerful role. “The judgment evidenced by [the governor’s] opportunities,” Gov. Millard Fillmore Caldwell said, “will determine whether the state will enjoy four years of politics or four years of capable government.” Few would dispute that for the last few years, politics — not capable government — is what the Yellowhammer State’s been getting. Just head over to the Alabama Department of Archives and History’s official Alabama history timeline (it’s on their website). The only events listed since 2014? The indictment and conviction of former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard on a dozen felony ethics charges:

criminal, not capable government. Now Gov. Bentley is headed down the same road, with an impeachment committee moving closer and closer to ending his gubernatorial tenure earlier than expected over the misuse of state resources following the governor’s admittedly inappropriate relationship with a former staffer. The time for politics — and politicians like Bentley — is over, and the time for capable government should be the focus of those from Mobile to Montgomery. “The days are gone when the governor could be a figurehead, a Good-Time Charley, or some similarly inept politician,” University of Florida professor Richard Scher wrote in his book “Politics in the New South.” “The demands on the job are too great, and the needs of the states and region too pressing, to permit backsliding to patterns of the past.” Dr. Scher is right. It’s long past time for Alabama to get a governor it truly deserves, but it’s something we’re going to have to work for. We should all strive to look closely at those running for governor — and all public offices. Question their ideas, scrutinize their claims, think independently and, most importantly, know where candidates stand on issues before we go to the ballot box every election. Below are descriptions are some of the potential candidates for Alabama governor in 2018, arranged into categories of gubernatorial leadership outlined by Scher, an expert on Southern politics.

The businessmen

According to Scher, these are “Chamber of Commerce” folks — deeply entrenched in the business community and attuned to their needs. While they come in different styles — the Pragmatist, the Ghost, or the Good-Time Charley — these governors are more set on stability than radical political change in either direction. In the upcoming election, potential candidates such as Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh and former Auburn Coach


DeVos devoid of facts, impartiality BY KEN ROBINSON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


s the older folks are wont to say in our part of the country, “Well, I’ll be!” Those are the words that came to my mind as I listened to the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, speak at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank, last week. I’m sure you know of whom I speak. DeVos got much press coverage during her Senate confirmation hearings — primarily because throughout much of the proceedings she sat like a deer in headlights as she attempted to respond to serious education policy questions which were clearly over her head. On questions that required depth, insight and understanding of important education matters she was, well, often at a loss. For example, a question was put to her regarding the ongoing and consequential issue of whether test scores should be used to measure a student’s proficiency (was a specific standard reached) or used to measure a student’s growth (has the student improved over time). She didn’t have a clue. As one observer noted, “The question essentially rendered her speechless as she appeared not to know how to answer.” It was not the only question to leave her sitting in stunned silence, or to which she had no real response. Her performance throughout the proceeding led to her being categorized as possibly “the most ill-prepared Cabinet nominee we’ve seen in quite some time.” Last week DeVos turned her ill-informed gaze upon Mobile. For what cause? The Brookings Institution was rolling out the results of its 2016 Education Choice and Competition Index report. In its fifth year, the ECCI is an annual ranking of the level of choice in 112 of the nation’s largest

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school districts. The report doesn’t measure academic performance or quality. As it says in the report’s introductory section, “The ECCI is not designed to answer causal questions about what system or education delivery mechanism works best.” Its purpose, then? To determine to what degree a district provides things like private school vouchers, charter schools, virtual schools and other categories pertinent to choice and “competition.” Thirteen categories in all. The report notes in the absence of federal data for evaluation of category rankings “information is derived from school district websites and interviews with district staff.” This latter point is important because it has become clear that no official from the Mobile County Public School system was ever interviewed for the study, like with most districts in the study; determinations were made simply based on what information could be found on a school district’s website. This prompted Mobile County Schools Superintendent Martha Peek to note, “I am shocked that the U.S. Secretary of Education would reference a website review.” Read more about Peek’s response in reporter Jason Johnson’s story in this issue. Another national commentator stated similarly, “DeVos’s comments were unusual. For one thing, education secretaries usually don’t single out districts for criticism.” But criticize she did. The report refers to Mobile as a “laggard,” and senior Brookings Institution fellow Russ Whitehurst used the same word in his remarks about Mobile. Per Whitehurst, Mobile’s system has “no choice” or if so it’s “mysterious.” Speaking after Whitehurst, DeVos said of the Mobile County system, the largest in the state of Alabama with

Tommy Tuberville — who’s loaned himself $100,000 to run for the office — fit the “businessman” bill.

The populists

Populists focus on politics and people, and Alabama has its fair share. John McMillan, commissioner of agriculture, comes to mind. His accent is as Southern as they come, and so is his style. He’s a good shot — he won the governor’s turkey shoot — and while that’s certain to be in a campaign commercial, I hope it’s not what sways voters on election day. There’s also former House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford. Ford’s been the highest-profile Democrat in a state where that’s not necessarily a good thing, but he’s risen to the challenge again and again. If any Democrat has a shot at the governor’s chair, it may be Ford.

The demagogues

Then there are the demagogues — the George Wallace types that play on fear and hate for power; we have those, too. Public Service Commission President and Alabama Power unofficial spokesperson Twinkle Cavanaugh is one— elected on the back of anti-Obama sentiment. And then there’s the once removed, now suspended Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore. What more is there to say?

The policymakers

Finally, there are the policymakers, those who truly aim to problem-solve and focus on the prose of governance, not the poetry — and pettiness — of campaigns. Fortunately, Alabama has some of these too. Think Alabama Sen. Arthur Orr or Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill. I often disagree with them both on issues, from payday lending to voter IDs, but there’s no doubt: Orr and Merrill both know what they’re talking about when it comes to public policy specifics, at least most of the time. There are also mayors that fall into this camp — Walter Maddox of Tuscaloosa and Tommy Battle of Huntsville. Any of these candidates, if they were to be elected, would be sure to put policy before pomp and circumstance. In any case, no matter what type of governor Alabama chooses come 2018, one thing is for sure: the stakes couldn’t be higher. Alabama is at a turning point. The state’s expenditures are burgeoning at a time when state revenues and federal funding are anemic. Alabamians are tired of corrupt government, poor services and embarrassing national headlines. It’s a pivot point for our state. “Because the stakes involved are so high, competition for the office [of governor] is likely to become ever greater,” Scher wrote in his book. “This, too, will help make the office more vigorous, and serve as an incentive for more capable, visible, dynamic leadership from those occupying it.” In his book Scher is very optimistic, holding out hope the pressures of our time will force a cycle of real political leadership. I’m a bit more pessimistic, but only time will tell.

more than 55,000 students and the only Alabama district in the report: “I’m glad that Russ highlighted districts like Mobile, Alabama, that provide choice but don’t give parents adequate tools to take advantage of the program.” She continued, “The report noted that Mobile is not alone; 26 other districts, nearly a quarter of those surveyed, received a letter grade of ‘F,’ meaning they provide few to no tangible options. I’m hopeful this report serves to light a fire under them to better serve students.” What other districts does Mobile share this “laggard” category with that also requires a “fire” being lit under them? Districts from some of the wealthiest areas in the United States, such as Virginia Beach City, Virginia, and Orange County, California. Remember, this report does not gauge how well a school district is educating its children, just the availability of voucher programs, charter schools and the like. Which is why Superintendent Peek stated the report is a “bunch of political garbage that has nothing to do with the quality of education offered in Mobile County or in any public school system.” The ECCI study, she added, is nothing but an advertisement for charter schools and vouchers. Therein lies the problem many believe make DeVos totally unfit to be education secretary. Along with her serious lack of knowledge in education matters, DeVos seems devoid of objectivity when it comes to her strong advocacy of school choice. She totally disregards how a lack of accountability and oversight in these programs can have detrimental consequences. Although the Denver, Colorado, school system was ranked No. 1 in the ECCI, mostly because of its streamlined school application process and website, Secretary DeVos cautioned: “But the simple process masks limited choices.” In other words, they may have made No. 1, but because they lack choice options such as private school vouchers, their ranking is suspect. Denver County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg didn’t take kindly to her comments. Boasberg responded: “We respectfully disagree with Secretary DeVos. We do not support private school vouchers. We believe that public dollars should be used for public schools that are open to all kids, whether they are district run or charter ... we ensure [an] equitable system of enrollment … where all schools play by the same enrollment rules and all schools are subject to the same rigorous accountability systems.” When asked during her Senate confirmation hearing if she agrees all schools receiving taxpayer funding should be held equally accountable, her response was. “Well, no …” So, here we are with a national issue so important and complex as education, yet we have a leader devoid of the ability to comprehend or navigate that complexity. Our children deserve better. We deserve better.




s the leaks have come out over the last few months offering juicy details of President Donald Trump’s early administration and its missteps, many have said the leaks themselves are evidence of something dark and evil consuming Washington, D.C. And some argue Trump’s election was a repulsion of those dark and evil forces. In other words, there is this notion that a “deep state” or “administrative state” controls our federal government. The administrative state allegedly comprises a class of unelected bureaucrats — with cushy, high-paying jobs — who allegedly are smarter and wiser than the public at large. From their perches in some nondescript, sterile government building in the District of Columbia, they write regulations benefiting their left-of-center worldviews at the cost of everyday Americans in between the East and West coasts. A lot of that is true. People working for the

government work.” For government employees, it’s not just a throwaway line meant for a chuckle — it is the work ethic. Public-sector unions and government contracts have made it possible for a lot of people to get jobs beyond their level of ability and stay there for years or even decades. Some who should have hit their career-achievement ceiling as the night manager at Kinko’s have been able to have prosperous careers as a government employee. Obviously, that is not to say government employees are bad. Those that work in law enforcement or the military put their lives on the line, and that deserves a premium. But for the bean counter working for the Department of Agriculture, making $200,000 determining how to award farm grants — yes, there is a legitimate complaint to be made about the power of the so-called administrative deep state. Some of the brightest and the best come out of the Ivy League schools and work for the government. PUBLIC-SECTOR UNIONS AND GOVERNBut the ones who MENT CONTRACTS HAVE MADE IT POSare the most capable go on to work SIBLE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE TO GET JOBS BEin a field where they can exceed the YOND THEIR LEVEL OF ABILITY AND STAY THERE DC-VA-MD earnFOR YEARS OR EVEN DECADES. SOME WHO ing potential. is one of SHOULD HAVE HIT THEIR CAREER-ACHIEVEMENT theThat reasons why we may overestimate CEILING AS THE NIGHT MANAGER AT KINKO’S the “deep state.” HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE PROSPEROUS CAThe vast majority of government REERS AS A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. employees think the collective is better than the various Cabinet departments and agencies in individual. That is why they chose a profession and around Washington largely do not look working for Uncle Sam. favorably upon those in flyover country. They But Goldman Sachs is not seeking them out think people need government to take care of to run their oil and gas division any time soon. them. They can’t think for themselves. That is Nor does the Mayo Clinic think these people are why you need all these public service announce- qualified to do research on a cure for cancer. ments explaining how to be a good dad, or why In the end, they will not be what takes down you should not eat an entire bucket of Kentucky Trump. Fried Chicken. Certainly they have made his first hundred To them, the misinformed Rush Limbaughdays much more difficult, at least the smarter listening and Fox News-viewing public are ones in this so-called deep state. incapable of recognizing the dangers of global As Americans, especially as Alabamians, we warming or food with genetically modified should not agonize over the idea that a bureauorganisms. cracy can control us. They, sadly, can barely run They are in Washington, D.C., and you’re a VA hospital. Ask any Alabamian fisherman not. And there is a reason for that in their about the arcane formula used to determine red minds: they are smarter than you. They made snapper season and the literal act of Congress it it out of the shanties of Alabama, Arkansas and would take to call that into question. Oklahoma. They work in the big city. They Our federal government does a lot of things hang out in hip places such as Adams Morgan well. We do not live in a third-world banana and Columbia Heights while the rest of you republic, and that is attributable to our system of drink your swill in the local Ruby Tuesday and government, but arguably also due to Americans cheer on the Dallas Cowboys. being a good and decent people. But in reality, the “administrative state” is The deep-state boogeyman is certainly a factor not that impressive. It is a mindset. in day-to-day politics, but it is also something the Sure, they have a job paying way more than vast majority of Americans can overcome. the market value would offer in any other part of Yes, they have some power. There is no the country outside of D.C., New York City or denying that. Los Angeles. But the people still elected Donald Trump But don’t forget, there is still a lower stan— despite the “deep state’s” power to deterdard for government workers than those in the mine whether a private backyard retention private sector. pond is a lake and therefore subject to addiAs the old saying goes, “Good enough for tional regulation.

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Entrepreneurial activity buzzing in Mobile BY RON SIVAK/COLUMNIST/BUSINESS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM


small-business ceremony recognizing general excellence and a recent startup weekend event foreshadow a beehive of similar activity, for the month of April and beyond, with an intensity Mobile has perhaps never seen before. Sources say this is the result of a focused citywide effort initiated in earnest around 2014 to raise the bar on local entrepreneurship. Last week, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce recognized 3 Echoes Productions as its 2017 Small Business of the Year. The company and two other finalists — Altaworx Technologies and Waite’s Cleaners — were honored at a reception held at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel in downtown Mobile. 3 Echoes Productions manages every aspect of the video production process, offering clients a one-stop shop for these needs. Since its founding in 1997, the company has grown into a full-service local firm with a team of 20 employees. Last year the firm renovated its facility, adding an edit suite and offices and converted a former warehouse space to an indoor studio. Investments also included new cameras, lighting and other production equipment. Its financial growth has been fueled by work for a number of new clients, from local businesses to national brands such as Broan, NuTone, Carrier, Generac, Titebond and Yellawood. Additionally, weekly syndicated home improvement television program “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford” is a client. Andy Newton of Southern Light was also honored by the chamber as Outstanding Entrepreneur for 2017. Newton co-founded Southern Light in 1998, a fiber-optic based telecommunications company serving government agencies, businesses and wireless carriers. The company designs, constructs and operates roughly 6,100 miles of fiber optic networks in the Southeast. Last weekend also saw the successful completion of

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2017’s Startup Weekend in Mobile, a semi-annual three day challenge for budding entrepreneurs interested creating startups. It was held at The Steeple, 251 St. Francis St. in downtown Mobile. The event was billed as part business pitch competition, part educational experience and facilitated by Techstars and Google for Entrepreneurs. Ten participants attended group sessions and worked feverishly with coaches in a team environment to create new businesses from scratch over the course of the weekend. Sunday evening culminated in a pitch competition for contestants in front of a live audience weighing in as well as a select group of judges evaluating proposals. When the dust settled, grand prize winner was Looga, second place was awarded to PiqPiq and third place went to Scrubs for Change. Looga was designed by a creative group from The Alabama School of Math and Sciences. It is a foreignlanguage app designed for children ages 2 to 7. The prize package for the team included free co-working space at The Exchange, free logo design, free legal support and an $895 ticket to Inc. Magazine’s GrowCo conference. Some of the other upcoming entrepreneur events taking place this spring include: Minority Business Accelerator, April 4 to June 6; New Venture Competition, USA Melton Center, April 7; Rural Sourcing Inc. Hackathon, April 7; Alabama Launch Pad, April 27; Emerging Leaders, April to November; and 1702 Mentoring Workshop, TBA.

Commercial real estate moves

Low Brim Brewing held another “Brew and Stew” equity crowdfunding session for potential investors recently. The 10,000-square-foot space located at 116 W. Laurel Ave. is adjacent to the Foley Area Chamber of Commerce and near the epicenter of town square.

According to co-owners Jacob Waters and Patrick Burke, both from the area, six types of home-brewed beer will be offered for patrons. Distribution relationships with local restaurants are currently in place and expanding. To date, the area has welcomed Foley’s first microbrewery with open arms, per Burke, a former Anheuser-Busch certified sales rep and team leader in charge of developing the local area network. The space will also offer a private tasting room for new product rollouts upon opening in November. Some $650,000 will be invested into the site for renovations, $500,000 of which is anticipated to be raised via equity crowdfunding. In total, outside investors will control 49 percent of the new company with no single shareholder owning more than $5,000 worth of stock. The capital hopefully will be enough to transform a former deer urine collection and storage facility for outdoor sportsmen into a high-end microbrewery for locals and tourists. “With a 17.4 percent return on investment, voting rights, sales growth between 25 to 30 percent annually and an estimated profit margin of 74 percent, this can be a good opportunity for people to invest back into the community,” Water said. ASF Intermodal LLC has leased 6,890 square feet of space at 2010 W. I-65 Service Road South, inside the White-Spunner Construction Building. Allen Garstecki with JLL worked for the landlord. Steven McMahon with Inge & Associates represented the tenant. Marl Cummings with Cummings and Associates recently leased 1,200 square feet of retail space to Gulf Coast Vapes, located at 98 Oaks Shopping Center on Moffett Road in Semmes. He also reported leasing 1,200 square feet of retail to Fun Co. Gifts, located at 5646 Old Pascagoula Road in Tillman’s Corner.   

New entertainment district in Fairhope

According to a news release, the city of Fairhope is considering creating a second entertainment district sometime this year. The city’s Industrial Development Board is finalizing a proposal for a second industrially zoned property to be located on and south of Nichols Avenue to complement downtown Fairhope. The area would be an incubator for start-up and micro-businesses, according to board chairman Bob Gentle. Artists, food and beverage vendors and sustainable agriculture such as weekly farmers markets were some of the businesses proposed at the City Council meeting to populate the new district. Fairhope’s Downtown Merchants Association has already approved of the expansion plans, per a news release. As a first step the city would be asked to install sidewalks and street lighting in the area. Improvements to the Greeno Road crosswalk and suitable signage would also be needed. The Fairhope Roasting Co. coffee shop and bakery, already on Nichols Avenue, and the Fairhope Brewery across from Greeno Road would be included in the new district.

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Where’s the catfish? Under the Dog River Bridge, of course



MOBILE 36605 251-443-7310


Photo s| Daniel Anderson


was dog sitting last week for my three good friends Maggie, Baxter and Mud. They have their own house on the bay near the Dog River Bridge (no pun intended) and I occasionally get to escape the hustle and bustle of big city living to gaze upon the sleepy waters of the western shore. It’s a dog’s life, for sure, rocking on the back patio, throwing the ball with great care to not

WHEN WE MADE IT TO THE DOG RIVER BRIDGE I SAW THE SIGN FOR THE RIVER SHACK. I’D PASSED THIS PLACE FOUR TIMES TODAY AND IT JUST DIDN’T REGISTER. ” launch it past the confines of the invisible electric fence, getting hypnotized by the rippling waves. As if the view and environs aren’t enough, these three hounds are a joy to be around. I knew my boys would love to meet them and take in the scenery so I ran into town and grabbed them from their mother’s house for a day off the beaten path. This, of course, gave us the chance to try a restaurant not normally on our radar. It was a Sunday so on our way back to the house we stopped in at the Grande Mariner seeking crab claws. Their Facebook page said they were open but we found out otherwise when we got to the end of the snaky drive through the neighborhood. We were an hour early. No worries. We then consulted my handheld Apple supercomputer and changed course to Bayley’s (opening at noon), in search of the original West Indies salad. We found an empty parking lot and a locked door. Foiled by social media twice in a row, we went back the way we came, only this time with tears in our eyes and pangs in our stomachs. When we made it to the Dog River Bridge I saw the sign for The River Shack. I’d passed this place four times today and it just didn’t register. The parking lot had been empty just before 11 a.m. Now it was jammed. Lucas, Graham and I made our way to a table with a view of the water as boat after boat filed in and tied up. I thought to myself, “It must be nice bringing your boat to a

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With casual comfort on the waterfront, The River Shack under the Dog River Bridge offers all your seafood favorites.

shrimp were a very good size and like his brother he gave it restaurant.” The boys must have thought the same thing. Imthe old college try. Baked beans and mashed potatoes were his mediately they started asking when I was going to get a boat, choice of two. Neither of us knew why he ordered the beans. and each had picked out their idea of which boat it should be. He’s never liked beans. I only had enough money for lunch. I asked Chris to tell us his favorite entree. He said he loves We had a friendly waiter named Chris who had a pretty the blackened catfish, but the fried catfish has won best catfish good grip on everything, and apps were soon on the way. in Mobile for years running. I didn’t bother asking who voted Crab claws ($9.25 for quarter pound) were still on my on this. I just wanted to know who else in Mobile offers brain so I figured I’d give theirs a whirl. I wasn’t let down catfish! We both brainstormed five or six with the flavor. I should also add that places, all of which were closed except for whoever is weighing these things is doing the Dew Drop Inn. True, we have a shorta poor job. This had to be more than a age of catfish in Mobile but a win is a win. quarter pound. Needless to say I did not I wasn’t shy on trying. ask to speak to a manager. My fried catfish plate ($13.95) was a These boys are growing fast and have I ASKED CHRIS TO TELL US decent enough amount of fish and quite appetites of much larger children. Crab tasty. I was glad to see white cornmeal in claws were not enough for them. Lucas is HIS FAVORITE ENTREE. HE the hushpuppies and the side of lima beans not a fan of onions. We are seeking some SAID HE LOVES THE BLACK- I had was OK. For filets I think they do a type of therapy. Graham loves onions if good job. I’d drive over that bridge more they are cooked. A short argument over ENED CATFISH, BUT THE often if they served whole fish. whether to order fried dill pickles or onion Leaving, we walked along the dock so rings was solved by Chris. FRIED CATFISH HAS WON the boys could get a closer view of which The River Shack has an app simply BEST CATFISH IN MOBILE boat(s) they wanted me to buy and made called The Combo ($7.95). Would you our way to the car with an armload of believe this is a plate of onion rings and FOR YEARS RUNNING. leftovers. If you’re looking for a massive fried dill pickles? No substitutions, but amount of food then the River Shack is the who would? Graham powered through the place for you. onion rings like a 50-pound ball of fury It’s really a shame we couldn’t share fried pickles and but there was no way his big brother was going to tackle the crab claws with the dogs. The ranch would have matched mound of pickles. It was an absurd amount. Maggie’s white coat perfectly. For Mud, the gravy from the For the entrée portion, Graham began with a kid’s size potatoes were more his color and Baxter could have been an order of popcorn shrimp ($10.95). Sounds pricey for a kid’s onion ring guy. These pups are on a much better diet than we meal but the amount was a little overwhelming. He made a are, but I am certain their owners visit The River Shack from pretty good dent before throwing in the towel. His choice time to time. of side was coleslaw, which had a lot of purple cabbage but Dog sitting is a heck of a gig. I later found out Nicolas seemed to be good enough for him. Cage stayed here when he was filming a movie. Spoiled rotten Lucas went for the fried shrimp plate ($17.95). I guess he pups, I wonder what they paid him to dog sit?! thinks he’s too big for kid’s meals these days. The dozen fried

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


COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE ALL SPORTS BAR & GRILL ($) 3408 Pleasant Valley Rd. • 345-9338


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

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


OLD-FASHIONED SOUTHERN BAKE SHOP 156 N. McGregor Ave. • 219-7261


GOOD OLD AMERICAN COOKING 263 St. Francis St. • 405-1497


CLASSIC AMERICAN DINER 58 N. Secion St. Fairhope • 928-8521

CAFE 219 ($)

SALADS, SANDWICHES & POTATO SALAD 219 Conti St. • 438-5234


CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN FARE 61 Section St. • Fairhope • 928-4321







QUICHES & SANDWICHES 4366 Old Shell Rd. • 343-9889


107 St. Francis St. • 415-1700 3244 Dauphin St. • 476-0320 3215 Bel Air Mall • 476-8361 4707 Airport Blvd. • 461-9933 435 Schillinger Rd. • 639-1163 1682 US HWY 98 • Daphne • 621-3215 30500 AL 181 • Spanish Fort • 621-3020


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

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

CONNECTION FROZEN YOGURT ($) 1880 Industrial Pkwy. • 675-2999


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


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


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


22159 Halls Mill Rd. . • 648-6522



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


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


195 S University Blvd. Suite H • 662-1829

EUGENE’S MONKEY BAR ($) 15 N Conception St. • 433-2299



FLOUR GIRLS BAKERY ($) 809 Hillcrest Rd. • 634-2285

BURGERS, MILKSHAKES & FRIES 4401 Old Shell Rd. • 447-2394 4663 Airport Blvd. • 300-8425 5319 Hwy 90 • 661-0071 1225 Satchel Page Dr.• 378-8768


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

FOY SUPERFOODS ($) 119 Dauphin St.• 307-8997


1801 Old Shell Rd. • 345-4767


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

PAT’S DOWNTOWN GRILL ($) BAR FOOD 271 Dauphin St • 438-9585

PDQ ($)

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


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


FUDGE, PRALINES & MORE 17111 Scenic Hwy 98 • Fairhope • 928-8477

R BISTRO ($-$$)

HOMEMADE SOUPS & SANDWICHES 65 Government St. • 208-6815

334 Fairhope Ave • Fairhope • 928-2399


SANDWICHES, SUBS & SOUPS 2056 Gov’t St. • 476-2777

SEAFOOD & SANDWICHES 212 ½ Fairhope Ave •Fairhope • 928-4100


3869 Airport Blvd. • 345-9544 5470 Inn Rd. • 661-9117 28975 US 98 • Daphne • 625-3910


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


AUTHENTIC SUB SANDWICHES 7449 Airport Blvd. • 375-1820


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


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


1252 Govenment St.• 301-7556


HOME COOKING 4054 Government St. • 665-4557

LICKIN’ GOOD DONUTS ($) 3242 Dauphin St. • 471-2590

LODA BIER GARTEN ($) PUB FOOD AND DRAFT BEERS 251 Dauphin St. • 287-6871

MAMA’S ($)

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


WRAPS & SALADS 3220 Dauphin St. • 479-2480


2906 Springhill Ave. • 479-4614


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


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



2550 Dauphin Island Pkwy S. • 307-5328

WAREHOUSE BAKERY & DONUTS ($) COFFEE AND DONUTS 759 Nichols Avenue, Fairhope • 928-7223


GOURMET GRILLED CHEESE 5955 Old Shell Rd. • 287-6134

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


COFFEE, LUNCHES, LIVE MUSIC & GELATO 3 Royal St. S. • 415-3000


CUPCAKE BOUTIQUE 6207 Cottage Hill Rd. Suite B • 665-3003


SANDWICHES, SOUPS, SALADS & MORE 41 West I-65 Service Rd. N Suite 150. • 287-2793

SUGAR RUSH DONUT CO. ($) 4701 Airport Blvd. • 408-3379



AT FLU CREEK 831 N Section St. • Fairhope • 990-7766


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

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


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

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT ($-$$) BBQ AND MORE Jubilee Sq.Ctr. Hwy 90, Daphne • 210-2151 McGowin Park Ctr. Satchel Paige Dr. • 471-1050 7721 Airport Blvd. • 380-8957


RIBS, SANDWICHES & GREAT SIDES 3314 Old Shell Rd. • 479-9898 5401 Cottage Hill Rd. • 591-4842 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




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

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

MONTEGO’S ($-$$)

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


107 St Francis St #115 • RSA Bank Trust Building

MOSTLY MUFFINS ($) 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

O’DALYS HOLE IN THE WALL ($) 562 Dauphin St.• 725-6429


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SOUTHERN COOKING & THEN SOME 1716 Main St. Daphne • 222-4120



33 N Section St. • Fairhope • 990-5635


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


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


216 St Francis St. • 421-2022


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


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


BISTRO PLATES, CRAFT BEERS & PANTRY 2304 Main St. • 375-2800


7 SPICE ($-$$)




CORNER 251 ($-$$)

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

DUMBWAITER ($$-$$$) 9 Du Rhu Dr. Suite 201 167 Dauphin St. • 445-3802

FIVE ($$)

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


HIGH QUALITY FOOD & DRINKS 251 Government St. • 432-8000




TIN ROOF ($-$$)

AMERICAN RESTAURANT & BAR 250 Dauphin St. • 476-1890

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


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




DOWN-HOME COUNTRY COOKIN 7351 Theodore Dawes Rd. • 654-0228 13665 N. Wintzell Ave. • 824-1119 SOUTHERN CASUAL FAMILY DINING 10800 US HWY 31 • Spanish Fort• 621-4995

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

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

DAUPHIN’S ($$-$$$)

LAUNCH ($-$$)

MAGHEE’S GRILL ON THE HILL ($-$$) GREAT LUNCH & DINNER 3607 Old Shell Rd. • 445-8700


LOCAL INGREDIENTS 203 Dauphin St. • 690-6824

NOJA ($$-$$$)

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


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

HIBACHI 1 ($-$$)

2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062







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


4861 Bit & Spur Rd. • 340-6464


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


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

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





LUNCH BUFFET 3674 Airport Blvd. • 341-6171

JAPANESE & CHINESE CUISINE 3959 Cottage Hill Rd • 666-6266


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

3966 Airport Blvd.• 343-5530

17111 Scenic HWY 98 • Point Clear • 928-4838

UPSCALE WINE BAR 9 Du Rhu Dr. S 201 • 287-7135




3758 Dauphin Island Pkwy. • 473-1401

6358 Cottage Hill Rd. • 725-6917

113 Dauphin St.• 436-0989

SEAFOOD, ASIAN & AMERICAN CUISINE 69 St. Michael St • 375-1113

CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN CUISINE Battle House Hotel, Royal St. • 338-5493


AUTHENTIC IRISH PUB 101 N. Bancroft St.• 990-5100




SEAFOOD AND SUSHI 551 Dauphin St.• 219-7051


SAISHO ($-$$)



CHARM ($-$$)


HOME COOKIN’ LIKE MOMMA MADE. 2804 Springhill Ave. • 473-4739

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


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

CASUAL FINE DINING 104 N. Section St. • Fairhope • 929-2219


3011 Springhill Ave. • 476-2232

THAI KITCHEN & SUSHI BAR 960 Schillinger Rd. S • 660-4470


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

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


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




THAI & SUSHI 5369 D Hwy 90 W • 661-5100



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



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


312 Schillinger Rd. • 633-9077

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

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


BAKERY 5638 Three Notch Rd.• 219-6379


KAN ZAMAN ($-$$)


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



TAZIKI’S ($-$$)


FAR EASTERN FARE ANG BAHAY KUBO ($$) 4513 Old Shell Rd.• 473-0007

BAMBOO STEAKHOUSE ($$) SUSHI BAR 650 Cody Rd. S • 300-8383


DELICIOUS, TRADITIONAL THAI CUISINE 28600 US 98 • Daphne • 626-5286 3821 Airport Blvd. • 344-9995


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

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

RICE ASIAN GRILL & SUSHI BAR ($) 3964 Gov’t Blvd. • 378-8083


273 S. McGregor Ave • 287-0445 6345 Airport Blvd. • 287-0555 940 Industrial Pkwy • 308-2158 6850 US HWY 98 • Daphne • 753-4367


6455 Dauphin St. • 433-0376

STIX ($$)

610240 Eastern Shore Blvd. • 621-9088


9091 US-90 Irvington • 957-1414



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


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




ECLECTIC DINING & SPACE 6955 Airport Blvd. • 633-7196


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




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


30500 AL-181 • Spanish Fort • 206-8768 3654 Airport Blvd. • 338-9350


GULF COAST CUISINE, REINVENTED 200 E. 25th Ave. • Gulf Shores • 967-5858

LULU’S ($$)

LIVE MUSIC & GREAT SEAFOOD 200 E. 25th Ave. • Gulf Shores • 967-5858


RALPH & KACOO’S ($-$$) THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 1595 Battleship Pkwy. • 626-0045

R&R SEAFOOD ($-$$)

LAID-BACK EATERY & FISH MARKET 1477 Battleship Pkwy. • 621-8366


SEAFOOD, BURGERS & STEAKS 6120 Marina Dr. • Dog River • 443-7318.

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

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


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

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


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

751 Azalea Rd. • 301-7964




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

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


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



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

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

1715 Main St. • 375-0543 BRILLIANT REUBENS & FISH-N-CHIPS. 101 N. Brancroft St. Fairhope • 990-5100


BAR & GRILL 29740 Urgent Care Dr. • Daphne • 662-9639 6255 Airport Blvd. • 447-2514


Bel Air Mall • 476-2063

GUIDO’S ($$)

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


3958 Snow Rd C. • Semmes • 645-3400


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


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


5055 Cottage Hill Rd. • 308-4888 2394 Dawes Rr. • 639-3535 2004 US 98 • Daphne • 265-6550


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

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


MIRKO ($$)

OLD 27 GRILL ($)

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


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



DELIVERY 350 Dauphin St. • 431-9444

CORTLAND’S PIZZA PUB ($-$$) GREAT PIZZA. LUNCH & DINNER 4356 Old Shell Rd. • 342-0024


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

PASTA & MORE 9 Du Rhu Dr. • 340-6611


PIZZA, SUBS & PASTA 1368 ½ Navco Rd.• 479-0066


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. •Fairhope• 929-2525

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

ROMA CAFE ($-$$)

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


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



3250 Airport Blvd. Springdale Mall• 450-4556

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

TRATTORIA PIZZA & ITALIAN ($$) ITALIAN FOOD & PIZZAS 11311 US HIghway 31 Spanish Fort• 375-0076


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

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


HEARTY MEXICAN FARE 736 holcombe Ave.• 473-0413


3050 AL 181 • Spanish Fort • 621-7433




850 Bayview Ave. Bilox • 888-946-2847


TIEN ($-$$)







TASTE OF MEXICO 5452 Hwy 90 W • 661-5509

LATIN AMERICAN FOOD 211 Dauphin St. • 375-1076



AZTECAS ($-$$)


MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722

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


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


763 Holcombe Ave • 473-0413

FUEGO ($-$$)

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

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


AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CUISINE 800 N Section St. • Fairhope • 990-0783 830 W I65 Service Rd. S • 378-5837 4663 Airport Blvd. • 342-5553


AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FLAVOR 3733 Airport Blvd. • 414-4496


875 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 888-952-2582

BR PRIME ($$-$$$)

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





158 Howard Ave. Biloxi • 800-725-2239


MIGNON’S ($$$)













THE DEN ($-$$)


777 Beach Blvd.Biloxi • 877-877-6256




1980 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 800-747-2839 INTIMATE & CASUAL WITH DAILY SPECIALS

CQ ($$-$$$)


BLU ($)





FIRE ($$-$$$)



280 Beach Blvd. Biloxi • 288-436-2946

303 Poarch Rd. Atmore • 866-946-3360 PRIME STEAKS, SEAFOOD & WINE




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here has been a hint of it in the wind for a little while but nothing was confirmed publicly until last week when Dumbwaiter announced plans to open a third location this fall. The new restaurant will be at 108 Section St. in downtown Fairhope, where it will be in good company, walking distance from many fantastic eateries. This announcement came just after the original Dumbwaiter’s two-year anniversary, and social media seems to favor the idea. With fans of the Dauphin Street location and the Legacy Village location battling it out, it makes sense to add a third to settle the score. Get ready for some pork belly, ESho. And if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, Dumbwaiter’s may just change your mind.

Bel Air upping restaurant game

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National Cheese Fondue Day

Of course April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day, so what better way to celebrate than by visiting your local Melting Pot? For the first time in 30 years an Americanmade cheese was named Best in Show at the World Cheese Championship. In celebration of this holiday, Melting Pot will be making fondue of this 2016 Champion Roth Grand Cru Surchoix. Taste the victory April 11 for the low price of $4.11! We’re taking back cheese, America. What’s next? Recycle!

Photo |

The Shoppes at Bel Air are transforming their Airport Boulevard section into much more of a dining scene than the mall previously held, and the restaurants they are adding have some potential. The first to open was the popular P.F. Chang’s, which hit the ground running. The main problem was there were too many customers from the very first day. Story after story of comp food for long waits were fodder for social media, but things are leveling out. Never judge a restaurant (good or bad) in its first couple of months. This is a testament to its popularity, though. Just across from Chang’s is Grimaldi’s Pizza. Opened late February, this coal-fired oven pizza has its roots in New

York and the reviews in its second month are favorable. New Yorkers are claiming it reminds them of home. With pizzas and calzones they do seem to also take their beer seriously, but the wine list is as good as any this mall has seen. Don’t neglect the Italian wines. With a pizza they can give the California ones a run for their money. The latest news is of our very own Bob Baumhower getting into the game. The Crimson Tide/Miami Dolphin pro has plans for a 7,000-square-foot location in The Shoppes, expected to open sometime this summer. Baumhower’s restaurant will be a sports-themed facility with 70 flat screen televisions, burgers, chicken pot pie and, of course, wings. Don’t forget to try the wings. The best part of this restaurant renovation is the addition of patio seating for those sunny days, giving all three of these restaurants a bit of curb appeal. Let these guys get their legs under them and our mall will have some decent dining.


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Blair Crimmins & The Hookers will bring a show full of ‘raucous energy’ to Alchemy Tavern on Friday, April 7 at midnight.


ver the years, Atlanta has been home to a plethora of music lovers who enjoy vintage sounds, and a pocket of the city’s music scene includes a number of acts specializing in rockabilly and oldschool country. Blair Crimmins & the Hookers, however, go farther back, capturing fans with music influenced by the sounds of the early 20th century: ragtime and Dixieland. Each performance by the band is filled with raucous energy that infectiously spreads throughout audiences. “I think it really kinda clicked with the rockabilly crowd that we have here in Atlanta and some of the people who are really into classic country and rockabilly,” Crimmins said. “They heard it and really dug it. There was nobody in Atlanta doing what we’re doing.” Crimmins’ musical focus has not always been the sounds of the past. Even though he studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music, Crimmins returned to Atlanta with a desire to exchange jazz for rock ‘n’ roll. After spending time in the rock world, Crimmins became disillusioned; for him, being in a rock outfit meant looking for a record deal, which meant concentrating on more superficial aspects than the music itself. Around that time, Crimmins also had a lifechanging accident. One night, he was partying late with friends and decided to let his American bulldog pull him around a parking lot on his skateboard. Crimmins took a fall and woke up three days later in Grady Memorial Hospital. When he returned to the world of rock, he found himself unsatisfied with the nature of the scene. “I just didn’t connect anymore with the music that I was making or the scene,” Crimmins explained. “I wanted to do something that

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really required everything that I had, instead of just going through the motions and being this rock thing. I wanted to really work hard and use every bit of inspiration that I could muster and just work harder than ever on music.” In addition to his previous work, Crimmins will entertain his SouthSounds audience with cuts from his latest album, “You Gotta Sell Something.” While Crimmins’ latest release maintains its fun and energetic nod to ragtime and Dixieland, “You Gotta Sell Something” delves into more modern influences, which is mission accomplished for the frontman. Crimmins says he tries to avoid being “a total throwback band or a band that makes the sound retro.” To accomplish this feat on “You Gotta Sell Something,” Crimmins decided to concentrate more on music and lyrics than arrangements. He wanted each song to be able to “stand alone” if he was playing piano or guitar. In addition, Crimmins concentrated on other sonic aspects to nourish his musical evolution. “On previous albums, I leaned a lot onto the band for the songs and instrumental hooks,” Crimmins said. “For this one, there’s horn parts and solos, but the horn parts are prearranged kind of stuff. There’s not as many shout choruses. I also wanted to showcase myself more as a songwriter. As an instrumentalist, there’s more guitar and banjo solos than other records.” Those who venture into the world of Blair Crimmins & the Hookers should be ready to shed their cares. The band’s last robust performance in Mobile was filled with energy. Crimmins and his crew will mix and mingle Dixieland, bebop, ragtime and whatever else they have in their aural arsenal. Alchemy’s Old Mobile ambiance should mesh perfectly with Crimmins’ old-school sounds.

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oJo’s Slim Wednesday will give SouthSounds attendees a taste of Mardi Gras in the middle of Lent. The last time this side project headed by Widespread Panic keyboardist JoJo Hermann slid into town, the group performed under the name “JoJo Hermann’s Mardi Gras Band.” However, Hermann says a particularly raucous Fat Tuesday performance made the following day feel more like “Slim Wednesday,” and the name took root. Between this project and Widespread’s extensive tour schedule, Hermann rarely takes a break from music. However, a life packed with music is just what he wants. “I never take a break from music,” Hermann said. “I definitely believe in taking a break from the road and performing, but I’m playing at home a lot these days and really enjoying it.” JoJo’s Slim Wednesday specializes in the festive boogiewoogie and funk sounds for which New Orleans is known. Hermann has filled the group’s setlist with the sounds of Dr. John, The Funky Meters and many other Big Easy icons who inspired this keyboardist to dedicate his life to music. Of all the New Orleans musicians to which he pays tribute, Hermann cites Professor Longhair’s versatile “Rock ‘n’ Roll Gumbo” style as being the most influential. “I love [Professor Longhair’s] songwriting,” Hermann explained. “I love his lyrics and his attitude. I remember hearing the song ‘It’s My Own Fault for Coming Home from Work Early Last Night,’ and I was like, ‘That’s the right attitude! I like that attitude!’ There’s something with the rhythms and the way he just mixed these different rhythms from different places like out of left field and put them all together.” Not only has this project allowed him to delve into a musical passion, but Hermann’s exploration of New Orleans sounds has allowed to him to play with a number of the sonic pioneers of the Big Easy music scene. Over the years, Hermann has shared the stage with such notables as Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters, Dr. John), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Billy Iuso (The Wild Magnolias) and Russell Batiste Jr. (The Funky Meters). The keyboardist cites George Porter Jr. (The Meters) as one of his favorite Crescent City collaborators. A few weeks after his SouthSounds performance, Hermann will join Porter, Modeliste and Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic) at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival under the moniker “Foundation of Funk.” “George played on all those Meters records and Dr. John records,” Hermann said. “These are the records that changed my life. George Porter, for example, he’s a musician whose music saved my whole life. What can I say?”

Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann (far left) will bring boogie-woogie funk sounds to Cathedral Square on Sunday with his side project, JoJo’s Slim Wednesday. He is hoping to find some crawfish too. Those familiar with JoJo’s Mardi Gras Band will notice some familiar faces in the group’s SouthSounds lineup. This tour will feature founding members of JoJo’s Mardi Gras Band, including guitarist Bill Elder, who also founded the Nashville group The Dynamites. Before meeting Hermann, drummer/ founding member Kevin Mabin was keeping the rhythm at a church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. John “J.J.” Jackson will be taking a break from his run with Macy Gray to join Slim Wednesday. Ben Clark will be providing his trumpet, and Greg Bryant will provide a funky bass line to this musical carnival. “We’ve just got a great lineup with a great bunch of guys,” Hermann said. “We’re just gonna go out and have a good time and play a bunch of music. I’m hoping to eat a bunch of crawfish on this run. I’m begging all the venues on this run to have some crawfish available. I know I’ll be getting some crawfish in Mobile.” Hermann says his group’s performance at SouthSounds will be filled with upbeat New Orleans funk and boogie-woogie from the legends who made it great. However, the South-

Sounds crowd should not expect JoJo’s Slim Wednesday’s set to consist exclusively of covers. Hermann says the band has been “woodshedding a little bit and bringing in new material,” so SouthSounds will serve as a testing ground for the band’s original songs. JoJo’s Slim Wednesday’s Azalea City performance will include an entire set of original material the band has never been played live. As far as an album is concerned, Hermann says the band will retreat to an Atlanta studio where they will press “record” and lay down all their original tracks. As far as when and where the public will be able to get their hands on this material, Hermann says it will eventually spread through the masses somehow. “I guess we’re just gonna stick it [the album] out over cyberspace at some point,” he said. “We’re not going to get record deals or any of that stuff. We’ll definitely put it all out this year. We might put out a couple of songs a year or the whole record. We don’t know yet until we see what we’ve got. It’s always good to go into the studio. It’ll be fun.”

SOUTHSOUNDS 2017 JUDGES, BANDS GEAR UP FOR SOUTHSOUNDS SHOWCASES Again this year, Lagniappe Weekly and SouthSounds will team up for another edition of the Lagniappe Mobile Bay Showcase (Saturday, April 8 at noon) and the New Southern Music Showcase (Sunday, April 9 at noon), on the Hargrove Stage at Cathedral Square. Last year’s installment brought a diverse cavalcade of up-and-coming musical acts from the Mobile Bay region to downtown Mobile, where they were judged by a panel of music industry notables for a chance to win a prize package featuring a number of exciting perks. This year’s panel of judges includes: •Greggory Smith (Atlanta): Director Of Writer/Publisher Relations, SESAC •Josh Brackin (Atlanta): Entertainment Attorney, Greenberg Traurig, LLP •David Stringer (Columbia, SC): Founder of SceneSC, South Carolina’s oldest and most widely read music website •Sabrina Nastrini (Biloxi, MS): Entertainment Manager and Booking Agent for Hard Rock Biloxi •Corey Cochran (Biloxi, MS): Production Manager for Hard Rock Biloxi •Tim Camp (Mobile): Owner and Host, 92.1 WZEW •Kate Lumpkin (Mobile): Owner, Skate Mountain Records •Billy Francis (Fairhope): Owner, Bay Sound •Stephen Centanni (Mobile): Music writer, Lagniappe Weekly The Lagniappe Mobile Bay Showcase will be a locals-only affair. Representing the local punk scene, A Sunday Fire will hit the crowd with tracks from its new EP “Mobtown Punk.” In recent weeks, A Sunday Fire has been touring in support of this pop-punk release. When they first started playing together, Infant Richard & the Delta Stones hoped to bring about a musical renaissance in Mobile, much like the monk who inspired the band’s name. This six-piece group pulls inspiration from rock, blues, soul, jazz and jam music. With a new album on the streets, the band hopes to sway judges with their freshest material. This band’s live shows tend to be eclectic and electrifying. Also appearing will be Party at the Moontower. This Mississippi band prides itself on concentrating on “songwriting and arranging” for the live setting. The end result is an attractive brand of modern rock that tends to skirt the mainstream. This musical formula has won them fans along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Red Clay Strays are one of the newer acts appearing in the

Lagniappe Mobile Bay Showcase. This group prides themselves on an original sound with influences ranging from Motown to classic country. Their original songs and musicianship have not gone unnoticed: Mobile’s label Skate Mountain Records recently added this group of talented young musicians to its lineup of Alabama artists. Azalea City supergroup Slide Bayou will also perform in the showcase. Slide Bayou’s lineup includes music scene veterans Lee Yankie, Ryan Balthrop, Harrison McInnis, Marc Hendrix and Winter Baynes. Yankie, Balthrop and McInnis are accomplished local artists whose combined musical backgrounds should make for a set filled with soulful jams. From O’Daly’s Irish Pub to The Hangout, Yeah, Probably has been entertaining crowds with original music from an upcoming EP. Yeah, Probably’s members met in their college jazz band and cite chemistry as the source of their creative productivity. This chemistry will shine throughout a set of soulful funk and R&B. The Lagniappe New Southern Music Showcase will pit the judges’ choice from the Mobile Bay Showcase against three regional acts. One, Blackwater Brass, will be traveling from Ocean Springs, Mississippi. This 10-piece specializes in funky brass sounds but isn’t afraid to step into other musical worlds. Nick & the Ovorols were born in Chicago but are now based out of Pensacola. This trio will bring a dose of blues-rock influenced by classic sounds. Expect a glorious aural and emotional rollercoaster. Post Pluto will represent Pensacola in the Lagniappe New Southern Music Showcase. These Florida musicians pride themselves on their versatile repertoire of jam rock. Post Pluto has also built the reputation for providing memorable live performances, quickly turning new listeners into fans. Its set will include cuts from its most recent effort, “New Horizons.” After the Lagniappe New Southern Music Showcase concludes, judges will select one band to receive a prize package any upand-coming band would welcome: three days of studio time with Rick Hirsch at his Studio H20, complete with accommodations; a $500 gift card to Andy’s Music; and a $200 gift card to Callaghan’s Irish Social Club. Touring requires gas, and with this in mind, Lagniappe Weekly is adding a $100 gift card. Finally, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will give the chosen band an opportunity to play the Biloxi venue.

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efore SouthSounds 2017 wraps another year, The Merry Widow is inviting the crowds to sample the rock ‘n’ roll folly of All Them Witches. This Nashville outfit has forged a unique brand of modern psychedelic rock that has set new standards for the genre. The band could not have picked a better city in which to establish their musical legacy. Since the turn of the millennium, Nashville has traded its exclusive emphasis on country music for a plethora of alternative sounds, much as Austin has. While Austin’s scene is extremely cutthroat, though, even among locals, guitarist Ben McLeod’s descriptions make Nashville seem a more forgiving and communal town. “Nashville is still a small town in a lot of ways,” McLeod said. “I have never felt that outsider vibe. Everybody moves to Nashville to play music. The cool thing about it is that if you want to start a band, you end up jamming with your friends, and you’re like, ‘Hey, wanna start a band?’ They’re usually all down, because that’s why everybody is there in the first place.” “Sleeping Through the War” is the latest effort from All Them Witches. Once again, this band pummels its listeners with volley after volley of ear-blasting rock that balances mixes of hypnotic stoner metal and intense psychedelic rock delivered with alt. rock attitude. All Them Witches also balances the vibe of the album, as can be witnessed on their previous releases. A track might begin with ethereal mellowness before plummeting into a hurricane of raw sound. McLeod cites the band’s collective rock ‘n’ roll psyche as the catalyst for this recurring arrangement. “It’s totally natural,” McLeod said. “It’s a seesaw between

All Them Witches will bring their brand of modern psychedelic rock to the Merry Widow on Sunday, April 9. one person wanting to take a song into one direction and someone takes a song in a different direction. It ends up going back and forth between calm and heavy.” While the music on the album is truly unique, another interesting aspect of “Sleeping Through the War” is the band’s choice of producer. Dave Cobb’s background includes studio work with Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Shooter Jennings. Working with All Them Witches seems like quite a tangent for a studio master with a country background. However, McLeod says Cobb sought out the band with hopes of producing their last effort, “Dying Surfer Meets His Maker.” At the time, McLeod says, the band was not ready to take a “polished approach” to the music, but is quick to say the band is glad that Cobb joined them for

their latest album. “He’s a fan and friends with the president of our label [New West Records],” McLeod said. “I think they probably got together, and they found out about us. He lives in Nashville, and he’s a cool dude. We met him, had lunch and decided to do this one with him.” Those who follow All Them Witches know their live show is a different experience from their music’s studio interpretations. McLeod says their songs tend to “inbreed into themselves” and “bleed into each other.” With each show, All Them Witches finds itself adding new riffs and shaping new structures for each song. With just a handful of completed shows from their 200-show tour itinerary for 2017, McLeod admits these songs might transform into new sonic beasts as they play them in each town.




Photo/ Gus Black

ashville’s The Wild Feathers are returning to the Azalea City to perform for a throng of local fans. This band has used its alternative country rock to gather a dedicated listening audience. Both dedicated fans and newcomers to this band’s versatile sound can get a preview through their latest offering, “Live at the Ryman.” According to bassist/vocalist Joel King, The Wild Feathers’ show at the birthplace of the Grand Ol’ Opry was on the band’s bucket list. The group decided their debut at the Ryman was worthy of an archival recording, but the cost to record and usage of the Ryman name complicated matters. A few weeks before the show, however, the band’s persistence proved successful. King says just the experience of performing on that historic stage fulfilled their expectations. “You just try to soak it in,” King said. “I don’t even know if it was the best performance that we’ve had. We’ve seen so many shows there and have been in that building so many times. We never even opened up for anybody there. It was our time to play there and do anything we want. I was pretending that I was Hank Williams, except I wasn’t drunk. I love that kinda stuff. I’m a big history buff.” In addition to “Live at the Ryman,” The Wild Feathers have been touring in support of their sophomore album, “Lonely Is A Lifetime.” Many may find a contrast between the band’s 2013 self-titled debut and their second effort. While their debut maintained rock ‘n’ roll overtones, The Wild Feathers’ alt. country leanings could not be denied. One reason for this slight shift in sound could be the band’s recruitment of producer Jay Joyce, whose double-edged experience

Nashville’s The Wild Feathers headline the Hargrove Stage at Cathedral Square on Saturday, April 8 at 6 p.m. includes work with Cage the Elephant, Halestorm, Emmylou Harris and Little Big Town. King cites more environmental influences as being the reason for the band’s shift in sonic muses. “The last one [“Lonely Is A Lifetime”] came from the road,” King said. “There’s a lot of jamming and crazy sounds and not a whole lot of country. It’s probably because we weren’t sitting around on our back porch playing it.” SouthSounds might offer one of the few chances to catch the band before their next release is completed. As far as musical expectations, King says the band is unsure which direction this

album is going. Currently, The Wild Feathers are culling through “40-something” songs to find the right combination for this upcoming release. However, he did say this album will be an overall mix of sounds that give it a “home feel.” King says it’s too early to say when fans will get to experience the new material. “We’re just going to wait and see and try and figure out when we’re gonna track this thing,” King said. “We’ve got a few festival things, but some of us have some kids coming. We’re going to let those kids be born before we do any extended touring. We’ll probably do a few shows to stay sane.”

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he University of South Alabama’s Independent Music Collective (IMC) is giving Azalea City music lovers an alternative to SouthSounds, as it hosts singer-songwriter Dave Dondero for an intimate show at Satori Coffee House on Friday, April 7. Many of the greatest songwriters draw inspiration

Photo | | David Dondero


from life. Dondero has an abundance of worldly experience from which to pull, having lived the varied life of “a carpenter, a cook, a trucker, a bartender in Alaska, a drummer in Pensacola-based This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, a solar panel installer, a day laborer, a record store clerk and a gas pumping attendant in New Jersey.” Dondero is touring in support of his latest album, “Inside

New sensation


the Cat’s Eye.” This collection of songs represents a singersongwriter who has dedicated his life to creating art on his own terms. Dondero’s talent for maintaining wistful overtones throughout each song is unique, even on upbeat tracks such as “You’ve Got Love in You” and “Rock Bottom.” Satori’s living room-like environment should prove optimal for experiencing Dondero’s music.

The living dead



Photo | Facebook | Jeremih

any music critics and fans consider the 1960s a musical highwater mark. After success in their home country, many British bands invaded the U.S. in search of new fans, which they found in abundance. The Zombies were among the more successful of the “British Invasion” bands, with not one but two American hits in 1965, “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No.” Toward the end of the decade, as Flower Power overtook the mainstream, The Zombies’ “Time of the Season” from the classic album “Odessey and Oracle” proved a veritable anthem: “It’s the time of the season for loving.” Even though many decades have passed, The Zombies are still together and making new music. Their latest effort is 2015’s “Still Got That Hunger,” a throwback to ‘60s rock sounds with a contemporary edge. This collection of newer tracks from the legendary band should please dedicated fans as well as attract new listeners.


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Photo | | The Zombies


hen Jaguar Productions and the University of South Alabama’s Student Government Association were considering who to book for their spring concert, they surveyed the student body — which chose the smooth rhythm and blues sounds of Jeremih to highlight their spring event. This Chicago-based artist has played many roles in his career, including singer-songwriter, producer, rapper and producer. Jeremih broke into the public spotlight through his catchy, sensual anthem “Birthday Sex.” Jeremih is giving lovers another reason to get close, turn the lights down low and groove through the night. His latest single, “I Think of You” (featuring Chris Brown and Big Sean), is highlighted by lighthearted funk rhythms and Jeremih’s sweet vocal flow. In addition to steady rotation on radio, Jeremih is giving his fans a chance to enhance their “I Think of You” experience through a contest. Those who stream “I Think of You” will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a “pantygram” from the vocalist himself.


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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | April 6 - April 12


Show, 5:30p//// Jonny Barbato Trio, 6p//// Rhythm Intervention, 6p//// Sal Bluegill— Al and Cathy Melancon, 9p//// Foxy Iguanas, 10p//// Blues Tavern— John Hall Trio, Brian Hill Trio, 10:15p//// Federal 8:30p Expression, 10:30p Brickyard— Ben Jernigan and Golden Nugget— The Zombies, 8p Company Hangout— Ben Loftin & The Family Callaghan’s— Phil Proctor Listening Room— Fort Defiance Dority’s Bar and Grill— John Live Bait— Brandon Styles Martin Davis Lulu’s— Lee Yankie, 5p Felix’s— Grits N Pieces Main Street Cigar Lounge— Flora Bama— Dave McCormick, Ryan Balthrop, 8p 4p// Logan Spicer, 5p/// Dueling Pianos, Manci’s— Rondale and the Kit Katz 5:30p//// Big Muddy, 6p//// Mark The Merry Widow— Sherrill, John Joiner, Chris Newbury SouthSounds: Alfred Banks, 9p and Mel Knapp, 6p//// Lee Yankie Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — C Dub & Hellz Yeah, 10p//// Sal Melancon, and Money Monies 10:15p//// Mario Mena, 10:30p Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Summerlyn Hangout— NAKD Powers Lulu’s— Lefty Collins, 5p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Josh Manci’s— Sean Carter Preston, 6:30p Old 27 Grill— Songwriter’s Night, O’Daly’s— She Returns from War, 6:30p 7:30p// Infant Richard and the Delta Wind Creek Casino— Lacee, 8p Stones, 8:45p/// Muddy Magnolias, 9:45p Soul Kitchen— Jeff the FRI. APRIL 7 Brotherhood, Diarrhea Planet, The Alchemy— SouthSounds, 8p Burning Peppermints, 8:30p All Sports Bar & Billiards— DJ Wind Creek Casino— Lacee, 9p Markie Mark, 10p Bluegill— Quintin Berry, 12p// Blind Dog Mike, 6p SAT. APRIL 8 Blues Tavern— Soul River Levee, Alchemy— SouthSounds, 9p 9p Big Beach Brewing— Melissa Brickyard— Roadside Glorious, Robertson, 6:30p Paw Paws Medicine Cabinet Billy B’s— Pearls of Trinity, 8p Felix’s— Rebecca Berry Duo Bluegill— Tim Kinsey, 12p// Three Flora Bama— David Dunn, 4p// Bean Soup, 6p Tim Kinsey, 6p/// Jordan Babin, 1p//// Blues Tavern— Ric McNaughton Jay Hawkins Trio, 2p//// Jack Robertson Band, 9p

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Brickyard— Ryan Balthrop and FRiends Dority’s Bar and Grill— Jimmy Lumpkin and the Revival Felix’s— Blind Dog Mike Fin’s— The Smoking Toasters, 8p Flora Bama— Chris Bryant Duo, 1p// Jay Hawkins Trio, 1p/// Big Muddy, 2p/// LeaAnne Creswell Trio, 2p//// Dave McCormick, 4p//// Dave Chastang, 5p//// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p//// Davis Nix, 6p///// Cat Rhodes & The Truth, 8p//// Brian Hill Duo, 9p//// Parrish County Line, 10p//// Jordan Babin, 10:15p//// Federal Expression, 10:30p Hangout— Yeah Probably IP Casino— Olivia Newton-John, 8p Listening Room— The Echo Lulu’s— Grits N’ Pieces, 5p Main Street Cigar Lounge— Robert Holt, 6p Manci’s— Chris Powell The Merry Widow— SouthSounds: Big Freedia, Sexy Dex & The Fresh, DJ Charles III, 9p Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Southern Union Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Chad Parker Duo, 6:30p O’Daly’s— Bon Bon Vivant, 7:30p// Tyler Kitchen & The Right Pieces, 8:30p//// Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 10p Old 27 Grill— Jeff and Raul, 6:30p Pirates Cove— Big Muddy, 5p Saenger— Beethoven Symphony 9 Soul Kitchen— Explosions in the Sky, Thor and Friends, 8p Top of the Bay— Grayson Capps

Wind Creek Casino— Lacee, 9p


Alchemy— SouthSounds, 2p Bluegill— Bobby Butchka, 12p// Yeah Probably, 6p Blues Tavern— John Hall Trio, 6p Brickyard— Jake Buford Callaghan’s— Young Mister and the Artisanals Dority’s Bar and Grill— Matt Neese Duo Felix’s— Brandon Bailey Flora Bama— Smoky Otis Trio, 12p// Cameron Dupuy, 1p/// Jason Justice, 1p//// Destiny Brown, 2p//// Mel Knapp, 5p//// Foxy Iguanas, 5:30p//// Perdido Brothers, 6p//// Jay Williams Band, 10p//// Davis Nix Dup, 10:15p Frog Pond— Grayson Capps, Shawn Mullins, Chuck Cannon, Phil Maderia, Corky Hughes, Gram Rea, 2p Hangout— Jordan Capers Listening Room— Paper Lights Lulu’s— Cadillac Attack, 5p Manci’s— Scott Boyer The Merry Widow— SouthSounds: All Them Witches, Ranch Ghost, Black Titan, 7p Old 27 Grill— Lisa Zanghi, 11:30a Saenger— Beethoven Symphony 9 Soul Kitchen— The Marcus King Band, Jimmy Lumpkin and the Revival, Post Pulto, 7:30p


Felix’s— David Chastang

Flora Bama— David Dunn, 5:30p// Cathy Pace, 6p Hangout— Mario Mena Lulu’s— Honey Island Swamp Band, 5p Old 27 Grill— Marty McIntosh, 6p


Bluegill— Quintin Berry Butch Cassidy’s— Chris Powell Fairhope Brewing— Green Drinks Felix’s— Rodger Fleshman Flora Bama— T-Bone Montgomery, 2p// J. Hawkins Duo, 5:30p/// Perdido Brothers, 6p//// Mario Mena Band, 10p//// Zachery Diedrich Duo, 10:15p Hangout— Continuum The Intracoastal— Brent Burns Lulu’s— Ronnie Presley, 5p The Merry Widow— Sarah Potenza, Symone French, Sherry Neese, 9p Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — Robbie Sellers, 6p


Bluegill— Ross Newell Brickyard— Nick and the Ovorols Callaghan’s— Phill and Foster Felix’s— Jamie Anderson Flora Bama— Neil Dover, 2p// Johnny Barbato, 5:30p/// Rhonda Hart & Jonathan Newton, 6p//// JoJo Prez, 10p//// Al & Cathy, 10:15p Hangout— Mario Mena Lulu’s— Jon Cowart, 5p

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Young Mobilian’s versatility breaks ground BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM


eads up, Mobile. The polymaths lurk among us. Some are like Dr. M. Allam Baaheth, a local theoretical chemist who has also given classical trumpet recitals with University of South Alabama fine arts faculty. Or Dr. Doug Haywick, an awarded geology professor who answers his muse with pottery and ceramics. New generations emerge, too. Midtown’s Alabama School of Math and Sciences (ASMS) has been churning them out for nearly 30 years now. Jamie Ellis is in that general arc of lineage. Though she went to Mary G. Montgomery rather than ASMS, the Semmes native’s background is littered with creativity, with dance classes and clarinet practice and scientific interests, too. “When I was younger I couldn’t get enough of Discovery Channel medical shows and enrolled at USA as a biomedical science major, but after my second year, I realized it wasn’t for me,” Ellis said. She re-evaluated options. A path emerged in the first geology class she ever took. “We were discussing the processes of volcanoes and this utterly pure happiness hit me that day. Now it feels like home,” Ellis said. Rather than keeping her eyes in the soil, Ellis has turned them skyward with an aim to specialize in planetary geology. That same vision led her to a new honor not seen in Mobile for a while.

Various states, mental and geographical, at MAC

“Shortly after returning from field camp out west, I was browsing through Facebook one evening and came across the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar System Ambassador page, with just a few days before their application deadline. The mission statement hooked me to try to see if I would be accepted,” Ellis said. According to, the program’s purpose is to gin up enthusiasm among local populations for space explora-

NEW GENERATIONS EMERGE, TOO. MIDTOWN’S ALABAMA SCHOOL OF MATH AND SCIENCES HAS BEEN CHURNING THEM OUT FOR NEARLY 30 YEARS NOW. ” tion and knowledgeable pursuits. Though there are 750 ambassadors in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam for 2017, Ellis is the first in Mobile in seven years. Among Alabama cities, it’s no surprise Huntsville leads in the number of resident SSAs with five and metro Birmingham has only two. Pensacola has none and New

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For more information, call 251-432-9796 or go to

or Phillip Carr, Ph.D., at 251-460-6907.

Science Café gets mileage from mulch

For centuries, Alabama life has orbited the courthouses at the geographical, cultural and legal hubs of its towns and cities. Those places continue to be a focal point for folklore and history. Author and professor Delos Hughes will talk about the places featured in his book “Historic Alabama Courthouses: A Century of Their Images and Stories” for the Wednesday, April 12, noontime Learning Lunch at the History Museum of Mobile (111 S. Royal St.). A professor emeritus at Virginia’s Washington and Lee University, Hughes divides his time between his native Alabama and Virginia in the study of architectural history. The event in the museum auditorium is free. Guests are allowed to bring their lunch. For more information, call Curator of Education Jennifer Theeck at 251-301-0270 or contact her by email at theeckj@

If you’re a gardener, you’re likely familiar with composting or saving organic matter so it slowly converts to a fertilizer. Sure, it’s great for plants, but surely there aren’t any secrets for civilization at large in that pile of water, air, worms, fungi, carbon and nitrogen. Not so fast, Old MacDonald. Aside from burning wood, we can use first- and second-generation biofuels to try to improve our civilization’s efficiency. On April 11, 6 p.m. University of South Alabama Chemistry Professor Matthew Reichert, Ph.D., will talk about these energy sources in a Science Café at Moe’s Original BBQ (701 Springhill Ave.) in downtown Mobile. The series is produced by the USA Archaeology Museum, which provides casual settings to engage with scientists in free and open discussions on timely topics. For more information, call Candice Cravins at 251-460-6106

Learning Lunch looks at courthouses


The monthly LoDa Artwalk at the Mobile Arts Council has been moved from its customary second Friday to coincide with SouthSounds Music Festival. The big weekend will meet a big show drawing from two states. The Skinny Gallery will feature work from Mobile Art Association’s annual Spring Show. The exhibit was judged by Craig Reynolds, a plein air veteran from Gulf Shores. The Danielle Juzan Gallery will feature work from the South Mississippi Art League. Focused on creating traveling exhibits, the featured artists include Pat Abernathy, Sandra Halat, Cissy Quinn, Norma Seward, Paulette Dove, Patt Odom, Stacey Johnson, Carmen Lugo, Carolyn Busenlener, Julia Reyes and George Ann McCullough. The Small Room will hold an exhibit by Mobilian Colleen Terrell Comer. Titled “Lay Down,” the show focuses on transitions between phases of human lives. The gallery will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Entrance is free.

Orleans boasts just three. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, sponsors the Solar System Ambassadors Program. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a lead research and development center for NASA. Whether talking about space telescopes at a college library or in online discussions of missions to Jupiter, Ellis’ passion has been her guide. She has even hosted panel discussion for science enthusiasts at comic conventions, something she is slated to repeat at Mobicon on Memorial Day weekend. Enthusiasm prompted Ellis to volunteer as a facilitator for the upcoming March for Science, set for April 22 in downtown Mobile. Set to coincide with similar events on six continents, its crux — a belief in science as humanity’s most powerful tool — is dear to Ellis’ heart. The budding astrogeologist isn’t alone. Ellis claimed the March for Science Facebook page has 600-plus followers to date. “The response has been beyond anything I could have imagined, so many walks of life have joined the group to help volunteer and make this happen,” Ellis said. March developers say reaction has been positive among laymen and professionals alike. “That includes natural sciences, biomedical sciences and social sciences. Almost everyone we’ve mentioned it to already knew about the march and many said they are planning to march, either here or in D.C.,” co-coordinator Angela Jordan said. According to Ellis, the event convenes in downtown Mobile around 9:30 a.m. The assembled crowd will walk an as-yet-unreleased but relatively short route before settling in Bienville Square for a presentation with guest speakers. “We are assembling a list of scientists and science advocates who can highlight some of the outstanding work being done in our region, as well as touch on some of the key issues,” Jordan said. Both Ellis and Jordan said further details will be available on the group’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Ellis also stressed a continuing effort to build STEM awareness in area educational curriculum after the event’s official date. As for Ellis’ long-ago creative interests, they aren’t entirely gone. Release comes in new ways. “I guess I kind of use that when I’m crafting 3-D models of geological structures, something I’m currently in the early stages of developing,” Ellis said.

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Tom Ford’s directorial debut is disturbing, dull




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 RAVE MOTION PICTURE JUBILEE SQUARE 12 6898 U.S. 90 Daphne, (251) 626- 6266

t’s frankly difficult to make it through the opening credits of fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals.” What are we to think when a man whose creative purpose has been glamour opens his film with luridly obese women dancing in slow motion, completely nude except for majorette hats and vapid, ingratiating smiles? It’s really hard not to be offended, and certainly perplexed. Soon, we learn these disturbing, cruel images are “art” in that they are being shown in a Los Angeles art gallery, and therefore we can accept them. Is this what we must do with the whole of “Nocturnal Animals”? Are we expected to fill in the many blanks in this otherwise average thriller simply because Ford directed it? A dual storyline begins with Susan (Amy Adams) a chic, miserable art gallery owner in a clearly unhappy marriage to expressionless hunk Armie Hammer. While he is away on a business trip for a barely concealed love affair, Susan receives a package from her ex-husband: a soon-to-be-published manuscript, dedicated to her, named “Nocturnal Animals.” As she begins to read, the second story, that told in the novel, begins to unfold onscreen. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a man driving through the bleak Texas night with his family, a red-headed woman who looks

like Adams (Isla Fisher) and their teenage daughter. Soon, a horror-story confrontation unfolds as three maniacs run them off the road and, after a painfully drawn out scene in which Gyllenhaal fails to defend his family, the women are kidnapped. That scene is the strongest in the film, a dreadfully suspenseful encounter that ends horribly. This contrasts with a horrified Susan in her luxurious home reading the story. The comparison between her and the doomed fictional wife is obvious, and she reveals that her ex-husband called her a nocturnal animal during their marriage. In the film, Gyllenhaal portrays both the husband in the novel and, through flashbacks, Susan’s ex-husband Edward, the novel’s author. But the fictional wife’s fate isn’t the true revenge on Susan. Edward writes the male protagonist as a man accused of weakness and as he seeks justice for his family, he finally rejects this label. We see Edward fighting with Susan during their brief marriage, and she uses the same word, weak, to describe him. Susan isn’t just the murdered wife, she is the villainous murderer, committing the crime of underestimating Edward. Insight into the brutal way Susan betrayed and abandoned Edward for her new husband is almost superfluous, and does nothing to make the Adams scenes more meaningful. The “Noctur-

nal Animals” novel plot only makes the “real” story of Edward and Susan that much less interesting, and the crime in this part is wasting Adams’ talent. Gyllenhaal, on the other hand, gets to be both the sensitive writer-husband and the literally tortured husband in the story, complete with guttural howling and gunplay. Adams’ biggest moment is when she removes her dark lipstick, which signifies she was a hardened and brittle career woman. It was, admittedly, a terrible color on her. It is satisfying to puzzle out how the two plots fit together and the film is visually stunning in parts. The Texas narrative has its exciting moments, especially when Michael Shannon’s grisly mug pops up as a sheriff with unconventional methods and nothing to lose. But the story itself, of Susan’s painful life decisions and their current repercussions, lack much depth or interest. Susan is supposed to be an intelligent, perceptive woman, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to really see how much she was affected by the experience of reading Edward’s novel. We are shown, superficially, that she is shaken up, but in an effort to depict the glittering surface of her unsatisfying life in L.A., we’re subjected to an empty, unsatisfying film as well. “Nocturnal Animals” is currently available to rent.

CARMIKE CINEMAS 23151 Wharf Ln. Orange Beach (251) 981-4444 COBB THEATRES PINNACLE 14 3780 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores (251) 968-7444

Photos | Focus Features / Sony Pictures Animation

FROM LEFT: Amy Adams in “Nocturnal Animals,” the story of a wealthy art gallery owner haunted by her ex-husband’s novel. A new “Smurfs” film finds the little blue characters following a mysterious map to uncover a secret.

EASTERN SHORE PREMIERE NOW PLAYING CINEMA 14 GOING IN STYLE 30500 Alabama Crescent Theater, Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema 181 #500 THE BOSS BABY Spanish Fort, Al All listed multiplex theaters. GHOST IN THE SHELL (251) 626-0352 All listed multiplex theaters. Information accurate at press time; please call theaters for showtimes.

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LIFE All listed multiplex theaters. POWER RANGERS All listed multiplex theaters. THE BELKO EXPERIMENT Regal Mobile Stadium 18

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST All listed multiplex theaters. LION Carmike Wharf 15 KONG: SKULL ISLAND All listed multiplex theaters. LOGAN All listed multiplex theaters. THE SHACK All listed multiplex theaters. GET OUT All listed multiplex theaters. FIFTY SHADES DARKER

Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Carmike Wharf 15 CHIPS Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Cobb Pinnacle 14, Carmike Wharf 15 JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Carmike Wharf 15


The Smurfs find more Smurfs in this fully animated film. All listed multiplex theaters.

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GENERAL INTEREST Map for Mobile update Drafts of the updated Future Land Use Map and Major Street Plan have been completed and will be unveiled on Thursday, April 6, at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium of Government Street Baptist Church, 3401 Government Blvd. Lecture on Fairhope Join the FSTC Archives Committee Thursday, April 6, at 6 p.m. for a “Photographs and Stories of Fairhope” talk at the Fairhope Public Library. Bellingrath 85th anniversary On Friday, April 7, guests may visit Bellingrath Gardens at a special anniversary rate of $8.50 per person. Call 251-973-2217 or visit “Engaging the Next Generation” Mobile United invites young professionals to “Engaging the Next Generation,” a volunteer fair on upper Dauphin Street between Joachim and Conception streets on Friday, April 7, 6-8 p.m. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week The Mobile Police Department will host an event commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arlington Park, 1750 S. Broad St. For more information, call 251-208-1924.

Bellingrath Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, April 8, at 9 a.m. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for professional photos. Visit www. Exploreum Easter Egg Hunt Join the Exploreum for its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8, at 9 a.m. Hunt begins at 10 a.m. Admission includes the egg hunt. Visit Easter Bunny in Fairhope The Easter bunny will be visiting Fairhope on Saturday, April 8, at the Fairhope Welcome Center from 10 a.m. until noon. Parents may bring their cameras and take pictures. Call 251-929-1466. Fairhope Walking Tours Join Museum Director Donnie Barrett for a walking tour of Fairhope on Saturday, April 8, at 10 a.m. at the Welcome Center. Mobile Symphony Orchestra Mobile Symphony and University of South Alabama present Beethoven’s Ultimate Symphony and Handel’s glorious Coronation Anthems. Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Saenger Theatre. Visit Confederate Memorial Day Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m. join the Sons of Confederate Veterans for Confederate Rest at Magnolia Cemetery at the corner of Ann and Virginia streets. Call 251-421-0491.

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Easter Egg Hunt Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m. St. Mark United Methodist Church, 439 Azalea Road. Free and open to the public. Visit stmarkmobile. com or call 251-342-5861.

provide prom-bound students free haircuts, updos, manicures, pedicures and makeup at 4368 Downtowner Loop S. in Mobile, Friday, April 7. Call 251-342-4848.

League of Women Voters Meeting Join the League of Women Voters of Mobile Tuesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. for a dinner meeting at the Bel Air Marriott, 3101 Airport Blvd. Please make reservations at 251-402-3321.

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.

NDE Meeting International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS) meets second Wednesday of every month at the West Regional Branch of the Mobile Public Library on Grelot Road at 6 p.m. Brown Bag in Bienville Every Wednesday through May 5, join friends in Mobile’s Bienville Square from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch and live music. “Growing Seeds of Wellness” The art of gardening for cancer patients with master gardener Marilyn Mannhard. Noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at James P. Nix Center,1 Baylor Drive, Fairhope. RSVP for lunch, 251990-1853. Free salon services Remington College’s cosmetology program will

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 deliver a speech like a pro or gain leadership skills to advance your career? Toastmasters International meets regularly at six locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Visit for more information.

FUNDRAISERS A Night at the Races A Kentucky Derby-style gala benefiting The Learning Tree in Mobile, held at The Pillars beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. Tickets are $60. Call 251-331-2633.

Bunny Hop Join the Ronald McDonald House for a family-friendly Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 8, 1-3 p.m. at Geri Moulton Children’s Park, by USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. Gumbo Chili Showdown The Gumbo Chili Showdown is a competition between teams to see who can create the very best pot of gumbo or chili on Saturday, April 8, at 10:30 a.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Visit Backyard BBQ Backyard BBQ competition to benefit kidney transplant charities. More than 10 teams will cook in the chicken, pork, brisket, wildcard, ribs or side dish category. 1600 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island. Call 251-6482397. Fit for the Cure Thursday, April 6, at Belk at Bel Air and Friday, April 7, at Belk at Eastern Shore. For every woman fitted for a bra, Wacoal donates $2 to Susan G. Komen to benefit breast cancer research and community health programs, and for every Wacoal item purchased during the event, Wacoal donates an additional $2.

ARTS Cirque Italia Cirque Italia, the first traveling water circus, is coming to Mobile with a spectacular show you won’t want to miss! April 6-9 at Hank Aaron Stadium, with afternoon showtimes at 2:30, 5;30, 7:30 and/or 8:30 p.m., depending on the day. Visit Mobile Mystery Dinners A performance of “Death in Tutu” will take place Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at Renaissance Riverview Plaza. Tickets include dinner and unlimited wine. Advance reservations are required; call 251-4153092. First Friday Art Walk The Eastern Shore Art Center returns with new art and music the first Friday of every month. Friday, April 7, 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 Tea for Two Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. the Fairhope Museum of History hosts a tea with a lecture on Fairhope history. April 11 speaker will be Jack Burrell. Call 251-929-1471. “Windows to the Sea” Dauphin Island Sea Lab announces a permanent exhibit at the Estuarium, “Windows to the Sea.” Visit “Shipwreck! Pirates and Treasure” A new, highly interactive exhibit at GulfQuest features more than 500 authentic artifacts recovered from deep-ocean shipwrecks. Visit “Christenberry: In Alabama” On the occasion of Alabama’s Bicentennial Celebration, this exhibit honors artist William Christenberry’s exploration of themes related to his native state. Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive. Through June 4. Call 251-208-5200. “Faces of Africa” The History Museum of Mobile exhibit “Faces of Africa: A Mystical View of Tribal Heritage” runs through Monday, July 31. Call 251-208-7420. “Drugs: Costs and Consequences” The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration team up to present a powerful interactive exhibit of the effects of drugs on individuals and society. Through August. Visit Fairhope’s founding There is quite a story behind Fairhope’s founding in 1894. Learn more 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.

the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all visitors. No reservations are necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. Call 251-208-5200.

SPORTING EVENTS/ACTIVITIES Special Olympics Featuring more than 350 athletes. Friday, April 7, at 8:45 a.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal School. Email mobilecospecialolympics@ Fairhope Open Tennis Tournament April 7-8 at Mike Ford Tennis Center in Fairhope. There is a kickoff party Friday night. For more information, visit www. 8K by the Bay Saturday, April 8, 8 a.m. at Arlington Park at Brookley Aeroplex. 8K and 1-mile fun run. Benefits Penelope House and the Mobile County Sheriff Foundation. Register at Tai Chi Beginner Tai Chi classes are being offered in Stirling Hall (behind All Saints Episcopal Church, 151 S. Ann St., Mobile) every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Classes may be joined at any time. Email rjvarley@ Bridge lessons The Mobile Bridge Center offers free bridge lessons each Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 1510 University Blvd. Arrive a few minutes early to register. Call the Bridge Center at 251-666-2147, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fitness classes New fitness classes are in progress at Palmer Pillans Middle School. To register or for more information, call 251-463-7980 or go to Dance classes New dance classes are in progress at Palmer Pillans Middle School. To register or for more information, call 251-463-7980 or go to: 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, call 251623-9183 or visit 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

WORKSHOPS “Investment Blitz”

Learn about investments and wealth building on Saturday, April 9, 9-10 a.m. at the West Regional Library on Grelot Road. Call 251-6020011.

Genealogy class

Genealogy for beginners is offered at Palmer Pillans Middle School. Call 251-463-7980 or visit

Little Discoveries “Outside the Box,” aimed at children 6 and under, explores how innovation and creativity can lead to a world of possibilities, PUBLIC MEETINGS starting with a simple cardboard box. Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Call 251-208-6893 Public Safety or email Council Member Bess Rich, chair of the Public Thursdays at MMoA Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.,

Safety Committee, will meet on Tuesday, April 11, at 2 p.m. in the Plaza Auditorium in Government Plaza.

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THE NEW YORK TIME CROSSWORD PUZZLE MIXED RESULTS BY TRACY GRAY AND JEFF CHEN / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 Martin Van Buren was the first president who wasn’t one 5 Get ready for a long drive 11 I.M. chuckle 14 Martial arts move 18 Vitamix competitor 20 Hoity-toity 21 Shelley’s “To the Moon,” e.g. 22 It’s between the Study and Lounge on a Clue board 23 1970s TV cartoon series, with “The” 26 World capital whose seal depicts St. Hallvard 27 Pull out 28 It might give you a shock 29 Missile Command maker 30 Scintilla 31 Filmer in a stadium 33 Noodle dish 35 Rushes on banks? 37 Medicinal plant 39 Possible subject of a French scandal 40 German article 41 “Who ____ you?” 45 1973 No. 1 hit for Jim Croce 51 Téa of “Madam Secretary” 52 Pull (in) 53 Philosopher who wrote “To be sane in a world of madmen is in itself madness” 55 It may carry a virus 56 First and last word of the Musketeers’ motto 57 Pour, as wine 60 Degree in math? 61 Wrestler’s wear 63 Claw 65 Tickles 68 Target protector, perhaps 70 Jury-rigged 72 Monastery head’s jurisdiction 75 Feudal lords 77 Practice mixology 81 Chum 82 James of NBC’s “The Blacklist” 84 One side in golf’s Ryder Cup 86 Song of mourning 87 Big, husky sorts 90 Pennsylvania’s “Gem City” 92 Director Kurosawa 93 Title creature in a 1958 #1 Sheb Wooley hit 97 Buick model 98 Planter’s aid 99 Figure-skating jump 100 It’s a wrap 102 False start? 105 Words of defiance 106 Control groups 110 Captain of the Pequod 111 Actor Reeves 113 Onetime acquisition of G.E. 116 Shipping coolant 118 Cameo, for one

119 Dystopian film of 1971 122 Rihanna album featuring “Work” 123 Juice brand whose middle letter is represented as a heart 124 Tushy 125 Biggest employer in Moline, Ill. 126 Bridge position 127 Drop-____ 128 GPS, e.g., in military lingo 129 Wild Turkey and Jim Beam

comedy 17 Movie-review revelations 19 B-side of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” 24 Toll 25 Shade of gray 32 Gaggle : geese :: ____ : emus 34 Actress Peet 36 Big name in ice cream 38 Rank between viscount and marquess 41 What may be brewing 42 Interstate hauler 43 Zen master’s query 44 Conundrum DOWN 46 Shoulder muscle 1 Bowls over 47 Lyre-plucking Muse 2 Word both before and after “to” 48 Howard of Hollywood 3 Retriever’s retrieval, maybe 49 Delighting? 4 Little Rascals’ ring-eyed pooch 50 Letter header 5 Big airport inits. 54 Stammered syllables 6 Hathaway 56 Delta hub, in brief of “The Intern” 58 European language 7 Point out 59 Costume worn by Michelle 8 Cabbage variety Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” 9 Rice-Eccles Stadium player 62 Parisian palace 10 Image on the back of a 64 French for “sword” dollar bill 66 Easy-to-peel fruit 11 Lindsay of 67 “Rabbit Is Rich” Pulitzer winner “Freaky Friday” 69 Hug 12 Sign of decay 71 Org. that usually meets in 13 Civil rights icon John evenings 14 Hearty soups 72 P.D. dispatch 15 “Idaho cakes,” in diner lingo 73 Epstein-____ virus 16 Slapstick sidekick of old 74 Military decorations featur-

ing George Washington’s profile 76 Welcomes 78 Jolly Roger, in “Peter Pan” 79 Indian city whose name is an anagram of some Indian music 80 Bona fide 83 ____ Bowl 85 Matches, at a table 88 “Hmm … probably not” 89 Burned rubber 91 Comic’s asset 94 South American prairie 95 Harem servants, often 96 One of the geeks on “The Big Bang Theory” 101 Former Big Apple mayor Giuliani 102 Fruit tree 103 1953 hit film set in Wyoming 104 Animal with striped legs 105 Difficult conditions for sailing 107 City with a University of Texas campus 108 “Revelations” choreographer 109 Hit pay dirt 112 “The Wealth of Nations” subj. 114 Its state song is “Yankee Doodle”: Abbr. 115 Opera highlight 117 ____ milk 120 Mauna ____ 121 Bandleader Eubanks, familiarly


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Taking time to give back

Sports are not always just about winning and losing. There might also be opportunities to help those in need. This was true recently for two area organizations. • The Mobile Bay Tornados belong to the American Basketball Association. The club has always made it a

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point to support local charities. At a recent “Unity Game,” fans were asked to bring canned goods, which were donated to the Chickasaw Food Bank. The Tornados recently qualified for the ABA Elite Eight tournament in Baltimore by winning against the South Florida Gold 130-122 to capture the Southeast Division title. You can follow the playoffs by visiting • The nationally ranked University of Mobile softball team has done well on the field with a 24-9 record. The team recently hosted an ALS Day in honor of Dudley Barnette, the father of senior third baseman Anna Blake Barnette. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a progressive nervous system disease that destroys nerve cells and causes disability. At the doubleheader, fans raised $1,800 to help the Barnette family thanks to donations, barbecue dinners and a home run derby. Those still wishing to help the Barnettes can send checks made out to “Pam Barnette” to: Sally Shouppe or Korie Fontenot, 5735 College Parkway, Eight Mile, AL 36613.

Photo | Courtesy Kayley Burdine

ust a few years ago, Mobile’s Kayley Burdine started riding a bicycle for exercise. Her hobby eventually turned into a career and reached a new milestone. Burdine, a former University of South Alabama cheerleader, has announced she will be riding with the Sho-Air Cycling Group this coming season. She said Sho-Air sponsors some of the nation’s top cyclists. “I am unbelievably excited to announce that I will be riding for team Sho-Air Cycling Group in 2017,” Burdine said. “Sho-Air is one of biggest — if not the biggest — names in American cycling, and I can’t believe I’m signing my first pro contract with them.” After finishing college, Burdine began her career as a personal fitness trainer. To help stay in shape, she got an entry-level mountain bike to ride to work. Some friends suggested she should enter a race. In 2014, she placed third in her first outing and was hooked on the sport. After competing at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in Mammoth Mountain, California, Burdine gave up her amateur status and became a professional rider in 2015. Her commitment has been rewarded with the Sho-Air contract. “I know that with their help, I will be able to take my racing to the next level, and I look forward to growing with them as a professional cyclist,” Burdine said. “I want to thank all of my fans for your support, and a huge thank you to all of my sponsors as well as my coach Drew Edsall who have helped make this Southern girl’s dream come true.” The Sho-Air Cycling Group is based in Huntington Beach, California. Burdine said Scott Tedro, the company’s chief executive officer, is working hard to build professional cycling in the United States. “So it is truly an honor to have such a unique opportunity to learn and develop as an athlete with this organization,” she said. “I have been working really hard, and traveling coast to coast racing and building my résumé. “Last year I went undefeated in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and was crowned the Pro Women’s Southeastern Regional Champion. This year I will be racing in the Pro Cross Country Tour, which includes races in California, Utah, Montana, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and New Mexico.”

Making a splash

Levenia Sim, a member of the TNT Swimming team in Daphne, recently competed at the National Club Swimming Association’s Age Group Championships in Orlando. The NCSA is an organization of approximately 7,500 competitive swimmers from Alabama, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle. Sim set a record in the 10-and-under age group’s 100-meter butterfly race with a time of 1:02.33. The previous mark of 1:02.57 was set in 2003. TNT Swimming provides coaching to children of all ability levels at the Bounds Family YMCA in Daphne. Sim currently holds 11 individual records for TNT.


The men (17-5) and women’s (15-4) tennis teams at the University of South Alabama have excelled on the court this spring. The Sun Belt Conference has taken notice, with several players receiving Player of the Week honors. The most decorated is Juan Cruz Soria. The senior from San Juan, Argentina, has won the award three times outright and shared it on one occasion. Fellow senior Tuki Jacobs of Windhoek, Namibia, was recognized another week. Monica Mitta, a senior from Fairhope, picked up the third league honor of Wiffle Ball all grown up her career after compiling four combined wins in singles and doubles. Laura One of America’s favorite backyard games has taken hold in the backyard of a downtown Mobile nightspot. The Matuskova of Bratislava, Slovakia, was the fourth USA senior to be recognized. fall Wiffle Ball season that started in October at O’Daly’s The most recent selection is sophomore Alexandria Stiteler of Bradenton, Florida. Irish Pub wrapped up last week. Registration for those wishing to swing at perforated plastic balls in the spring season opened that night. There Very special event The Mobile Area Special Olympics annual track and field competition will will be leagues on Tuesday (Dauphin Street Blues Co. Division) and Wednesday (Draft Picks Division) nights at the be Friday, April 7, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal track facility. field — called Pub Park — located behind the bar. Because This is the largest Special Olympics event in Alabama. Approximately 400 special-needs athletes representing 51 Mobile-area of the game’s popularity, the leagues are limited to the first schools will compete in track events such as relays, runs, walks and wheelchair 18 teams to sign up. races. Field events include running and standing long jump, shot put and javThe games will get started on April 18-19 and run for elin, plus softball and tennis ball throws. nine weeks. To register for the next season, visit www. The opening ceremony is at 8:30 a.m. Featured guests are City Council The site also features a 360-degree members Bess Rich and John Williams plus Mobile County Public Schools virtual tour of Pub Park and a really interesting video of Superintendent Martha Peek. the league.

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ARIES (3/21-4/19) — Your retirement will be ruined as Winn-Dixie announces it will no longer recognize fuelperks at Shell gas stations. While your plan was admittedly risky, the short notice will have you trying to sell $300,000 of regular unleaded by the end of April. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — After reading news reports about the college student who tragically died while participating in a pancake-eating contest, you’ll be forced to count your blessings. While you were fortunate enough to outlive your flapjack funneling days, this week’s development will remind you many weren’t so lucky. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — Craving some time by the ocean but fearing the summertime traffic of eastbound I-10, you’ll start systematically smuggling sand into Cooper Riverside Park in hopes of building a makeshift beach hideaway. Fortunately, residents in downtown Mobile will just assume it’s another one of Sandy Simpson’s seasonal tourism gimmicks. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — After PETA helps to outlaw the use of the bunny as an official Easter mascot, you’ll rise to prominence with the idea to replace it with a beaver. Luckily, no one cares about beavers and the Easter beaver will live on forever. LEO (7/23-8/23) — Your garage band, Fork, will be invited to open for Spoon when it headlines the Soul Kitchen later this month. What was once considered a dumb name for your band will bring you fame and fortune, at least for one night. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — Next year, after rigorous workouts, you’ll attempt to make the NBA’s new D-League team in Mobile. Unfortunately, you’ll embarrass yourself at the tryouts for the Mobile MoonPies after each of your shots ends with airballs. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — You’ll work with Wal-Mart in two years to develop a new waterfront stadium for the Mobile BayBears. It’ll be named for the giant company and, as a catch to secure the funds to build it, will contain a Wal-Mart Supercenter on site. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — You’ll earn some valuable groupie points when you help a band set up for their gig at SouthSounds this weekend. Granted, they can’t afford to pay you, but you’ll have your choice of stickers from the merch table. SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — With the children back in school where they belong, you decide to take advantage of the vacant beaches and enjoy an adult Spring Break. Sadly, you’ll be declared “too old” for the wet T-shirt contest and only accomplish two-and-a-half turns of the dizzy bat before succumbing to a mild heart attack. CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — Inspired by the groundbreaking “S-Town” podcast, you’ll drink a pint of Wild Turkey and build a labyrinth in a kudzu patch. Years later, when your nipples fall off from excessive piercings, you’ll fire-gild your own golden replacements. AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — You’ll break out in interpretive dance to Mr. Mister’s 1985 hit “Broken Wings” when your waitress at Heroes delivers a hot batch of Buffalo style. Afterwards, while you’re washing them down with a Miller, you’ll interpret “Circle of Life.” PISCES (2/19-3/20) — It’ll be you who leads the rebellion against Toys R Us and WKRG when it’s finally revealed the months-long livestream of that giraffe’s birth was little more than an internet marketing hoax. When the dust settles, future generations will chant “No More April Fools” for years to come.

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STYLE BOOZIE a drunk college girl on spring break! Hey, maybe he was on spring break … what I would do to have an adult spring break. Ahh! My spy said after Flora-Bama everyone headed to Waffle House, like always. My spy was really using her head and called in a to-go order, so when she left the bar her food was ready! Genius? I think so! It’s always good to have smart friends around, especially when it comes to late-night partying.

Keepin’ crawfish boils real BY BOOZIE BEER NUES/SOCIAL BUTTERFLY


elp! For once I’m not hungover and need help. Instead, I’m in a food coma. Lagniappe’s Restaurant Week took a toll on me. So many places to eat, so little time. Was it worth it? Of course! But Restaurant Week wasn’t the only thing going on this past week. So grab your fork and get ready to enjoy this smorgasbord of tasty gossip.

Mudbugs and bluegrass

I saw a video of a “Southern seafood boil” for a place in New York, and let’s just say those people had no idea what they were doing. First off, they just boiled everything in plain water, then tossed it in a “Cajun sauce.” Like, come on, everyone knows you gotta add spices to the water. Then it got worse: The people in the video ate their food with freaking gloves on! Yes, they ate with plastic gloves on so their hands wouldn’t get dirty … SMH. Luckily for us Southern folks we don’t have to deal with imitation “Southern seafood boils,” we get the real deal! This past weekend St. Mary’s showed us the true Southern way with their annual crawfish boil and bluegrass extravaganza. And I am pretty sure there were no gloves worn, besides maybe by the people preparing the food, but definitely not by any eaters! Just to remind y’all: The weather was beautiful on Saturday and nothing goes with sunny days quite like crawfish and beer. My spy said St. Mary’s event had plenty of both, plus great music! She said Black Irish Texas headlined the event and were great, but The Mod-

Fun fact ern Eldorados, Delta Reign and Fat Man Squeeze were awesome too! Boozie must admit, this is an especially good crawfish event to attend — you get good bang for your buck and a good concert too!

In other crawfish news

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, free crawfish at bars is back! While it’s not every bar, like back in the day, I’ll still take it. Bars like O’Daly’s, Haberdasher, Crooked Martini and more are where you can find the goods. Insert happy dance! That’s not the only crawfish shenanigans. While snacking on some crawfish one afternoon this past weekend, a group of kids, or people younger than me, walked into a bar. They’d been having way more fun than the table of people I was with. One guy had been having maybe a little too much fun because he had to keep resting his head on the table. Then, when he wasn’t resting it on the table, he was sipping his beer. Party on, my friend!

I keep dancing on my own

My Flora-Bama spy was back at the ‘Bama this past weekend. She said the place was packed with spring breakers, bachelor and bachelorette parties! She said the crowd was significantly bigger Saturday night and so was the fun! Her favorite crowd-goer was an older man (60+ years old) wearing a Hawaiian shirt tucked into his shorts, which were pulled up high, dancing! She said this man was swinging around a pole, dancing as if he were

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In case you might be a little clueless like me and a friend, and happened to see a bunch of bass boats in what looked like a funeral procession on Saturday, here is the story. Pro-Bass fisherman Jimmy Houston is alive and well. What looked like

HELP! FOR ONCE I’M NOT HUNGOVER AND NEED HELP. INSTEAD, I’M IN A FOOD COMA. LAGNIAPPE’S RESTAURANT WEEK TOOK A TOLL ON ME. SO MANY PLACES TO EAT, SO LITTLE TIME. WAS IT WORTH IT? OF COURSE! ” the ultimate bass fisherman funeral procession, sheriffs and all, was actually a police escort for the fisherman to the weigh-in at the Boat Show. I know some of you were worried. Glad I could clear that up for you.


Local celebrity chef Von of Von’s Bistro was spotted with her husband and cute pup cruising around on Dog River enjoying the nice weather. I like the way you spend your Sunday Funday, Von! Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or just some plain ol’ crawfish lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!

LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 | PROBATE NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: DEBORAH R. HILBURN, Deceased Case No. 2017-0413 Take notice that Letters of Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 14th day of March, 2017 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. DIANNA IMSAND as Executrix under the last will and testament of DEBORAH R. HILBURN, Deceased. Attorney of Record: JOSEPH O. KULAKOWSKI. Lagniappe HD March 23, 30, April 6, 2017.

NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: WYMAN MADISON Case No. 2015-2231 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 14th day of March, 2017 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. JASMINE J MCCUTCHEON as Administratrix of the estate of WYMAN MADISON, deceased. Attorney of Record: HENDRIK S. SNOW, Esq. Lagniappe HD March 23, 30, April 6, 2017.

NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: BRADLEY SCOTT RIVERS Case No. 2017-0073 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 9th day of March, 2017 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. DEBORAH SMITH as Administratrix of the estate of BRADLEY SCOTT RIVERS, deceased. Attorney of Record: JAMES M. ORR JR, Esq. Lagniappe HD March 23, 30, April 6, 2017.

PUBLIC NOTICE STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE NOTICE OF COMPLETION In Accordance with Chapter 1, Title 39, Code of Alabama, 1975, NOTICE IS HEREBY given that Net Connections, LLC, has completed the contract for Hank Aaron Stadium – New Stand Netting – PR-077-17 at 755 Bolling Brothers Boulevard, Mobile, Alabama 36606. All persons having any claims for labor, material or otherwise in connection with this project should immediately notify the Architectural Engineering Department, City of Mobile, P.O. Box 1827, Mobile, AL 36633-1827. Lagniappe HD April 6, 2017

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE NOTICE OF COMPLETION In Accordance with Chapter 1, Title 39, Code of Alabama, 1975, NOTICE IS HEREBY given that Net Connections, LLC, has completed the contract for Hank Aaron Stadium – New Stand Netting – PR-077-17 at 755 Bolling Brothers Boulevard, Mobile, Alabama 36606. All persons having any claims for labor, material or otherwise in connection with this project should immediately notify the Architectural Engineering Department, City of Mobile, P.O. Box 1827, Mobile, AL 36633-1827. Lagniappe HD April 6, 2017

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to prohibit the State Department of Public Health from regulating or requiring a permit for intermittent food service establishments that otherwise do not prepare, sell, or distribute food in its regular line of

business when that food service establishment prepares or distributes food in association with a regional celebratory event or custom. Lagniappe HD March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 2017

NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2013 Chrysler 200 1C3CCBAB6DN588497 2006 Ford Econoline 1FTNS24L06HA61925 2005 Ford Taurus 1FAFP53U45A258904 2005 Chevrolet Malibu 1G1ZS52F25F335418 2000 FRGHT Convt 1FUPDSZB7YLF59778 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 18342 Couch Plant Rd., Summerdale, AL 36580. 2006 Nissan Altima 1N4AL11D56C161024 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1GCEK19T4YE196364 1987 Mazda B2000 JM2UF3112H0516831 2000 Chevrolet Blazer 1GNCS13W6Y2164616 2009 Chevrolet Traverse 1GNER23D19S103863 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 128 E Azan St., Prichard, AL 36610. 2007 Dodge Charger 2B3LA43H67H841945 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt 1G1AL52F857550984 2007 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WD58C779119473 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 10880 Old Hwy. 43, Axis, AL 36505. 2002 Honda Civic 1HGEM22942L033524 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 25377 County Rd. 38, Summerdale, AL 36580. 1990 Jeep Comanche 1J7FT26L0LL162693 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed – at 7960 Two Mile Rd., Irvington, AL 36544. 1998 Dodge Durango 1B4HS28Y0WF160708 2010 Nissan Versa 3N1BC1APXAL367254 2002 Ford Taurus 1FAFP53U92A153366 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass 1G3WH52M9VF359495 1995 Toyota Camry 4T1GK13E7SU091345 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7311 Airport Blvd., Mobile, AL 36608. 2000 Mercury Mystique 1MEFM6538YK616144 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 2053 Barretts Lane, Mobile, AL 36617. 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe 1GNEK13T91R135803 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 623 Neely Ave., Prichard, AL 36610. 1997 Honda Accord 1HGCD5635VA031389 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 261 1st Court, Mobile, AL 36603. 1999 Isuzu Rodeo 4S2CK58W4X4374650

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 369 Ralston Rd., Mobile, AL 36606. 2002 Kia Optima KNAGD128525163452

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed – at 1055 Stanton Rd., Daphne, AL 36526. 2006 Mercedes E350 WDBUF56J36A806980

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 58 Macks St., Mobile, AL 36607. 2008 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WT58K089109556

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 217 North Williams Ave., Prichard, AL 36610. 2004 Ford Explorer 1FMZU74K64UA84741 2007 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WB58KX79354611 2003 Nissan Altima 1N4AL11D03C103298

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 212 Bessemer Ave., Prichard, AL 36610. 2006 Honda Accord 1HGCM66526A066593

Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 12622 East Alabama St., Elberta, AL 36530. 2000 Dodge Dakota 1B7GL22X5YS613629 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 13156 N. Hickory, Loxley, AL 36551. 1999 Chevrolet Venture 1GNDX03E0XD344278 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 05, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 18908 Old Davison Rd., Bay Minette, AL 36507. 2000 Nissan Maxima JN1CA31D1YT754471 1997 Ford Taurus 1FALP52UXVA259673 2012 Chevrolet Malibu 1G1ZC5EU0CF295098 2003 Infiniti M45 JNKAY41E23M002603 Lagniappe HD March 30, April 6, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3356 Springhill Ave., Mobile, AL 36607. 2002 Dodge Durango 1B4HR48N02F150171 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4763 Lott Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613. 2010 Toyota Camry 4T1BF3EK6AU027583 1999 Ford Ranger 1FTYR14V4XPB65202 2004 Jeep Liberty 1J4GK58K74W225623 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 205 Shelton Beach Rd. Apt. 157, Saraland, AL 36571. 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe KM8SC13D22U260685 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt 1G1AL58F787119418 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5900 Middle Rd., Theodore, AL 36582. 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe K15 1GNEK13Z76R166365 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4600 Calhoun Rd., Mobile, AL 36619. 2001 Dodge Caravan 2B4GP44R11R153243 2004 Cadillac Deville 1G6KD54Y84U249691 2005 Nissan Altima 1N4AL11D65C335388 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

2010 Toyota Camry 4T1BF3EK2AU041383

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5405 Whilelm Dr., Mobile, AL 36695. 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2GCEC13V671118191 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 2625 Middle Rd., Mobile, AL 36605. 1995 Nissan 4X2 1N6SD11S4SC320679 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7135 14th St., Mobile, AL 36608. 1995 Pontiac Firebird 2G2FS22S6S2219728 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 16891 Hwy. 45 Lot 1, Citronelle, AL 36522. 2001 King Royalite 1DRRF31221B076572 2001 Honda Accord 1HGCG22571A029098

Deadline for legal advertising in Lagniappe HD is every Monday at 3 p.m. Lagniappe HD is distributed each Thursday.

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 6425 Spanish Fort Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL 36527. 2001 Chevrolet Blazer 1GNCS13W112132596 2005 GMC Sierra 2GTEK13T751222882 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer 1GNDS13S732255713 2002 Ford LGT Convt 2FTRX18L42CA41475 2002 Mitsubishi Diamante 6MMAP57P32T011937 2005 Lexus RX330 2T2GA31U05C022135

Lagniappe HD offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. For more information or to place your ad call Jackie at 251-450-4466. Or email at

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5681 Hwy. 90, Theodore, AL 36582. 2005 Ford Five Hundred 1FAFP25185G141695 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 5713 Three Notch Rd., Mobile, AL 36619. 2004 Ford Explorer 1FMZU63K04ZB41854

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 10330 Mason Ferry Rd., Wilmer, AL 36587. 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1GCHK29U13E112313

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 106 Martin Luther King Dr., Prichard, AL 36610. 1999 Ford LGT Convt. 1FTRX17W6XNB59976 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis 2MEFM74W8YX616286 1996 Ford Explorer 1FMDU32P6TZB81893 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3400 Lloyds Lane Apt V-7, Mobile, AL 36693. 2003 Nissan Maxima JN1DA31D43T522170

Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on May 12, 2017 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 17423 County Rd. 48, Robertsdale, AL 36567. 2002 Ford SRW Super 1FTNW21F92ED30311 Lagniappe HD April 6, 13, 2017

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Lagniappe: April 6 - April 12, 2017  
Lagniappe: April 6 - April 12, 2017