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WEEKLY

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LAGNIAPPE

D E C E M B E R 2 2 , 2 0 1 6 – D E C E M B E R 2 8 , 2 0 1 6 | w w w. l a g n i a p p e m o b i l e . c o m ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor atrice@lagniappemobile.com

ROB HOLBERT Co-publisher/Managing Editor rholbert@lagniappemobile.com STEVE HALL Marketing/Sales Director shall@lagniappemobile.com GABRIEL TYNES Assistant Managing Editor gabe@lagniappemobile.com DALE LIESCH Reporter dale@lagniappemobile.com JASON JOHNSON Reporter jason@lagniappemobile.com JANE NICHOLES Reporter jane@lagniappemobile.com

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BAY BRIEFS

A Fairhope-area businessman recently pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal EB-1 visa program.

COMMENTARY

Holiday travel can get perilous with one absentminded mistake.

BUSINESS

Lenzig Group’s Axis facility, which makes tencel fiber, will become the company’s largest global production site.

CUISINE

Feliz Navidad with Christmas Eve tamales

KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor klee@lagniappemobile.com ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor fatmansqueeze@comcast.net

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STEPHEN CENTANNI Music Editor scentanni@lagniappemobile.com J. MARK BRYANT Sports Writer sports@lagniappemobile.com STEPHANIE POE Copy Editor copy@lagniappemobile.com DANIEL ANDERSON Chief Photographer dan@danandersonphoto.com LAURA RASMUSSEN Art Director www.laurarasmussen.com

COVER

President-elect Donald J. Trump returned to Mobile, the last stop on his “thank you” tour, praising the city for giving his campaign its initial boost.

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BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive brooke@lagniappemobile.com BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive bwilliams@lagniappemobile.com ASHLEY KILLIAN Advertising Sales Executive akillian@lagniappemobile.com MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant events@lagniappemobile.com ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager delivery@lagniappemobile.com

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ARTS

A cryptic message from the new director of the Alabama Contemporary Arts Center challenges the public narrative of recent leadership changes.

MUSIC

JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager jackie@lagniappemobile.com CONTRIBUTORS: Asia Frey, Lee Hedgepeth, Brian Holbert, Alice Marty, Jeff Poor, Ron Sivak, Tom Ward ON THE COVER: DONALD TRUMP BY DANIEL ANDERSON

LAGNIAPPE HD Periodicals Permit #17660 (Volume 2, Issue 13) Copyright 2015 is published weekly, 52 issues a year, by Something Extra Publishing, Inc., 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 (P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652). Business and Editorial Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 Accounting and Circulation Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Call 251-450-4466 to subscribe. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652 Editorial, advertising and production offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Mailing address is P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652. Phone: 251-450-4466 Fax: 251-450-4498 Email: atrice@lagniappemobile.com LAGNIAPPE HD is printed at Walton Press. All rights reserved. Something Extra Publishing, Inc. Nothing may be reprinted. photocopied or in any way reproduced without the expressed permission of the publishers.

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Singer-songwriter Perry Guy wrote the song and children’s book “A Gulf Coast Christmas” with illustrations by Bridget Starr Taylor.

FILM

Casey Affleck’s performance of a man who fosters his nephew in “Manchester by the Sea” is Oscar worthy.

MEDIA

According to a recent report, fake web users are stealing ad revenue.

SPORTS

The Troy Trojans and Ohio Bobcats meet in the Dollar General Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium Dec. 23.

STYLE

Boozie caught a Lagniappe Christmas Party to remember, a silver anniversary and a Santa Ball at the convention center.

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GOING POSTAL

In appreciation of Winthrop Corey Dear Mr. Corey, You are extraordinary in every way, and your talents never cease to inspire and bring joy to both your dancers and your Mobile Ballet audiences. I can say with absolute certainty that you have had the most profound influence on my life. In the ballet world, most directors, like you, were world-class dancers themselves. Many of them, like you, are excellent teachers. There is something particularly unique about you, though. Your heart and your passion for the art of ballet is so apparent in the way you communicate with your dancers and in the spectacular productions you stage. You challenge your students with an encouraging expectation of excellence, and you positively instill discipline and work ethic through your consistent teaching, coaching and rehearsing. Perhaps the most special of all is that you make your dancers feel beautiful. Many little girls grow up dreaming of being a ballerina, and for your “babies,” you make those dreams come true. Now that I am a parent and a ballet teacher, I am all the more in awe of what you did for me AND the WAY you did it. You taught me how to make each moment and each movement special. Along with proper ballet technique, you taught me about the beauty in still moments, how to walk beautifully, how to use my arms expressively. You gave me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. I still carry “Lucy”

in my heart, and I savored every step of “Dracula’s” creative process. What you bring to Mobile, Alabama, is so very special. I thank you for helping me to become a professional dancer, and for encouraging me and coaching me every step of the way. You have shared in my joyous moments and have shown such compassion in hard times. You are a giver, and that’s one of the many things that make you special. I am but one of many who has been a recipient of all that you have given and continue to give. You are one of a kind, and I thank God for putting you in my life. You have made it richer in all the ways that count most. I, along with the rest of the ballet world, will always celebrate you and support you. And I will always be proud to say that I was one of “your babies!” With utmost respect, admiration, gratitude and love, Katherine Thompson Mobile Dear Mr. Corey, Thirty years ago I took a class of highschool students to see the very first “Nutcracker” ballet that you created as the new leader of Mobile Ballet. It was pure magic, so I jumped at the chance a few years later when you offered adult ballet classes. I put my 40-year-old body into a leotard and went to Mobile Ballet, not remotely imagining that I would participate in 13 years of “The Nutcracker” and other ballets. Eventually my dance muscles came back into shape, but I found that ballet doesn’t only

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change the body, it greatly enriches the spirit. So on the occasion of your 30th anniversary, this is a letter of gratitude. Gratitude for your amazing creativity: Your choreography and original ballets leave us speechless for their soul-touching beauty and inventiveness. Your inner vision translates itself into glorious art. Gratitude for your inclusiveness: From the youngest dancers to adults, to professional dancers from Russia to New York, you work with, teach and direct everyone and somehow make it look easy. Gratitude for the beauty of your designs: You almost singlehandedly created a design house within the ballet to produce stunningly beautifully designed, ethereal creations for the dancers to wear on stage — a lavish feast for the eyes. Gratitude for your gracious instruction: One has only to look at the Mobile Ballet alumni who have become professionals to realize that it was you who made this possible. While you insisted that every dancer give every fiber of their being to performances, you also gave them the encouragement they needed to have wings to fly. Gratitude for your vision: Through your guidance the ballet grew from a small tworoom storefront studio into the beautiful facility and thriving center it is today. It is almost impossible to put into words how very much you mean to our community. It is rare to encounter a true genius in a lifetime, and I believe it is quite safe to assign this label to you. Congratulations again to you, Mr. Winthrop Corey, and thank you from

the depths of my heart. You changed my life. Susan Rouillier Mobile

Don’t let the door hit you

Mr. Colby Cooper, Up to this point, I had considered Mr. Stimpson an above-average mayor, leading Mobile with good judgment and wise decisions. I had likewise assumed that Mr. Stimpson had surrounded himself with equally capable and wise counselors. Today, I have discovered, to my sorrow, that this is not the case. Mobile’s heritage trees are a fitting ornament to the richness in character that our city enjoys. Your actions to have a representation of that character, in a city park no less, destroyed for mere vanity to appease and impress reveals the lack of character in yourself and anyone who agreed to this act of vandalism. Your response to the well-deserved chorus of disapproval is to pledge to be more sensitive going forward. I think many in the voting public would agree that this would not be sufficient. Mobile apparently would be best served by your immediate resignation with a promise never to be involved in Mobile’s governance. If you don’t have enough shame to accomplish it yourself, I would hope that Mayor Stimpson would exercise the judgment to remove you from your position. With appropriate respect, Alex Killian Mobile


BAYBRIEF | COURTS

‘Whereabouts unknown’

LOCAL BUSINESSES IMPLICATED IN IMMIGRATION CONSPIRACY BY JASON JOHNSON

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ederal authorities have secured a guilty plea related to a multi-million-dollar conspiracy that allowed numerous foreign nationals to enter the country on fraudulent visas set up through businesses in Mobile and Baldwin counties. So far, Lagniappe has only found two indictments related to this case. Filed in late October, they allege a number of conspiracy and money laundering charges against Fairhope resident Christopher Allen Dean as well as David Jesus Jimenez of Miami, Florida. However, as many as 16 local businesses may be implicated in the conspiracy for supposedly participating in a scheme to set up fraudulent visas in exchange for cash from the People’s Republic of China. Dean and Jimenez’ indictments mention meeting with business owners or using bank accounts tied to Mobile, Daphne, Saraland, Orange Beach,

seeking Chinese investors for his business. Shortly after traveling to China to meet with potential investors, Dean was asked to use his business to file a fraudulent EB-1C petition in order to help a Chinese resident he’d met there enter the U.S. under the auspices of being recruited for a joint businesses venture. According to the indictment, Dean agreed to participate, and after the petition he filed was approved in September 2012, Dean received a wire transfer from China totaling $21,000. However, no joint venture ever existed between “Dean, his business, the Chinese businessman or any Chinese-based business.” Later, Dean is said to have reached out to his Chinese contacts directly — offering to act as a middleman between conspirators in China seeking access to the U.S. and the domestic businesses owners needed to facilitate “the scheme.” Over the next five years, the indictments claim, Dean and Jimenez went on to WITH AN EB-1C VISA, U.S. BUSINESSES recruit other businesses owners to petition IN JOINT VENTURES WITH FOREIGN for similar fraudulent EB-1C visas for CORPORATIONS CAN BRING HIGHER-LEVEL nonexistent businesses “EXECUTIVES AND MANAGERS” FROM OVERSEAS ventures, with everyone collecting money INTO THE COUNTRY MUCH FASTER THAN THEY along the way. Based on informaCOULD USING OTHER METHODS. tion filed in federal court, participating Pensacola and Brewton. Earlier this week, a business owners could receive an upfront payspokesperson for U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown’s ment of $2,000 just for applying for a EB-1C. If office declined to identify those businesses speit was approved, those business owners would cifically or speak to whether their owners could typically receive as much as $27,000, the indictface charges as well. ment claims. The root of this alleged conspiracy lies in the However, that’s only a fraction of what was EB-1 visa program, which allows for expedited being paid by those attempting to gain entry into immigration for foreign workers meeting certain the U.S. from China, which could typically cost conditions and allows immigrants to bypass U.S. immigrants as much as $300,000. Department of Labor certifications required when That money was placed into any number of entering the country on other types of work visas. U.S. bank accounts that were typically set up With an EB-1C visa, U.S. businesses in joint in the name of the immigrating party so there ventures with foreign corporations can bring would appear to be significant funds available for higher-level “executives and managers” from the nonexistent business ventures when their EBoverseas into the country much faster than they 1C petition was reviewed by federal immigration could using other methods. It’s also much easier agencies. An indictment suggested that approach for a foreign national, their spouse and any unwas a key to the fraud’s success for years. married children they have to become permanent “This was comprised of a $100,000 upfront citizens if they’ve obtained an EB-IC visa. fee, and then an additional charge of $200,000 if Dean is a resident of Fairhope but his busithe fraudulent EB-IC petition was approved,” the ness, Eco Strong Solutions LLC, was incorpoindictment reads. “It is not known whether the rated in Eight Mile, according to records with the money was actually paid by the Chinese national Secretary of State’s office. Lagniappe reached or paid by some other person or entity on behalf out to Dean seeking comment on this report of the Chinese national.” through his businesses and his defense attorney, Even more concerning, both indictments state but had not received a response as of this publithat the “whereabouts of some of the Chinese cation’s deadline. nationals who fraudulently entered the United According to charges Dean pleaded guilty to States [was] unknown” as recently as Nov. 22, in late November, both he and Jimenez helped recruit business owners in the Mobile area and in 2016. Earlier this month, Brown’s office also South Florida who were willing to submit fraud- declined to answer additional questions about the whereabouts of any foreign nationals that might ulent EB-1C petitions in order to help Chinese be known. nationals enter the U.S. under false pretenses. While the indictments for Dean and Jimenez In return, their indictments suggest Dean, mention other co-conspirators both in the U.S. Jimenez and the participating business owners and China, Dean appears to be the only perreceived money from overseas from 2011 to son from the Mobile area that’s been formally 2016 and saw more than $4.3 million moved back and forth between Chinese banks and banks charged with any crime at this point. He’s also the only named defendant that has moved to in Alabama and Florida. However, court documents suggest the ground- enter a guilty plea. work for this arrangement was laid in 2010 when Lagniappe will have more on this case as inforDean first met an associate of Jimenez’ while mation is released from the Justice Department.

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BAYBRIEF | POLITICS

Limit exceeded

BALDWIN LEGISLATOR TRIP PITTMAN WANTS TO GO TO D.C.

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BY JANE NICHOLES

tate Senator Trip Pittman, citing his belief in term limits, says he won’t run for another term in the Legislature. But he is eyeing Jeff Sessions’ United States Senate seat. Pittman, R-Daphne, has served Baldwin County since 2007 when he was elected to succeed Bradley Byrne. Now a congressman, Byrne had resigned the state Senate seat to become chancellor of the troubled two-year college system. Pittman is now serving his third term. Pittman told Lagniappe he has filed legislation every year to enact term limits in Montgomery. “I believe the only way to lead is by example. If I’m going to talk about it, it would be hypocritical not to do it,” he said. “I believe more than ever in term limits. I believe that it’s healthy for a republic, for a representative democracy, to get people in and encourage people in office to actually get things done. And then it actually liberates them, and frees them up to make some of the tougher choices they need to make sometimes, too, if they’re not running for re-election.” Pittman said he originally did not intend to seek another office immediately, but he’s already let Governor Robert Bentley know he’s

interested in being appointed to replace Sessions, who is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general of the U.S. If he does not receive the appointment, Pittman said, he will probably run for the seat at the next election, depending on who is appointed. Sessions’ term runs through 2020. Whoever gets the appointment faces two more elections in a short period. Pittman says there is debate in state political circles about whether a special election would be needed within several months of an appointment or whether it could be delayed until the 2018 election cycle. He favors delaying until 2018 if possible because a special election would cost between $3 million and $4 million. Pittman said a bill is being introduced in the next session that would allow special elections to be put off until the next cycle, but it’s unclear now if it would affect the timing of an election to fill Sessions’ seat. If he does end up in the U.S. Senate, Pittman said he would still abide by a self-imposed three-term limit and would work to pass such a limit in the federal body. However, he might propose that someone leaving the U.S. Senate and then returning at a later date be allowed to retain his or her seniority.

Senior Bowl sack

WITHOUT $35K, FAIRHOPE BOWL PRACTICE WILL GO BACK TO MOBILE

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BY JANE NICHOLES

Reese’s Senior Bowl practice in Fairhope appears unlikely this year since a majority of the City Council has indicated an unwillingness to pay $35,000 for an event that used to come free. “It’s their decision. They can do what they please,” said Rob Lehockey, director of public relations and digital media for the Senior Bowl. If council members change their minds, the Senior Bowl would have to know within a week, Lehockey said Friday. The council’s last meeting of the year is Thursday, and no item related to the Senior Bowl appeared on the agenda released Monday. The council never made a formal decision on whether to pay for the practice, but discussed the matter informally during a work session last week. The Senior Bowl requested $35,000 for the first time last year and the council voted in favor. This time, most council members indicated they were not willing to do it again. This year’s college senior showcase will be held Jan. 28. Traditionally, one practice has been held at Fairhope’s municipal stadium. The Senior Bowl invites players who are potential NFL draft picks or are good enough to sign as free agents. NFL scouts and coaches attend and closely watch the practices, which are considered more important for evaluating prospects than the game itself. The Senior Bowl website, www.seniorbowl. com, currently shows all practices being held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, the site of the game. ESPN and the NFL Network, which provide extensive coverage of Senior Bowl Week, soon need to finalize their schedules, equipment needs and budgets for covering practices, Lehockey said.

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Both the city of Mobile and Mobile County contribute to the event. This year the city budgeted $152,300 and the county $165,000. An economic study released last year showed the event generates between $27 million and $28 million for the city and between $350,000 and $450,000 in Baldwin County, Lehockey said. The Senior Bowl also holds a free football camp for youngsters and a season kickoff party for Fairhope High School and Bayside Academy, he said. He said it was too soon to know what would happen to those events. “We’ve been going to Fairhope for at least a couple of decades,” Lehockey said. “We didn’t really feel it was fair for Mobile to pay money to support the Senior Bowl and we’re getting nothing from Fairhope.” But council members questioned the economic value of the practice, with some saying the players and coaches come over on buses and go straight back to Mobile when the practice is over. Most people attending the event stay in Mobile or possibly Daphne. At the same time, the city maintains the football stadium to a standard high enough to handle a college event, they said. “They don’t have any research to back up what they’re saying,” Lehockey responded. City officials also said that after the Senior Bowl requested last year’s contribution, its leaders were told to apply this year in June along with other agencies and organizations during Fairhope’s budgeting process. The city heard nothing until recently, they said. The Senior Bowl spokesman said last year’s request was made in September and this year’s was made about a month ago. He acknowledged that organizers were later with their request this year.


BAYBRIEF | BALDWIN COUNTY

Foiled plan

COASTAL HIGHWAY PROJECTS GETTING SHORTCHANGED BY BOND PRICES BY JANE NICHOLES

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hen the Baldwin County Commission signed a routine agreement with the state last month to get some major highway projects moving, a mistrustful Frank Burt voted against it. The senior county commissioner recalled at least two other occasions, once under former Gov. Bob Riley and later under Gov. Robert Bentley, when fanfare accompanied announcements that Highway 181 would be widened ultimately to U.S. 98. Today, the widening has gotten as far as County Road 64. With the county now facing the loss of millions of dollars of BP oil spill settlement money, Burt said he won’t say, “I told you so.” He wants those highway projects as badly as anyone. But, he said, “Somebody doesn’t burn me twice. I wasn’t about to get burned again and authorize them to use Baldwin County’s money to fix state roads. It just wasn’t right.” It’s still unclear what the final reduction will be, but the loss is at least $30 million and could be as high as $45 million. The post-presidential election boom in the stock market combined with rising interest rates mean a state bond issue

parts of the highway could end up being paved for fewer lanes, Calametti said. Additional lanes could be added back later. In Baldwin County, the likely casualty would be the widening to five lanes of Highway 181 from Baldwin County 48 south to Baldwin County 32. Traffic continues to increase on Highway 181, but it isn’t as bad south of County Road 48, Calametti said. Both counties continue to suffer from the compromise made in the most recent special session of the Legislature, when the local delegation had to scramble to get a share of the BP money even though the coastal counties suffered by far the most environmental and economic damage from the oil spill. “You’ve got to keep in mind that — and I know people get tired of hearing it but it’s something they have to consider — we went from zero to whatever we wind up with,” said State Rep. Steve McMillan, R-Gulf Shores. At one point, the bill allocating the money had 100 percent going to the state. As part of the compromise, the local delegation agreed that if the bond issue revenue proved to be less than projected, the reduction would come out of their share, McMillan said. BOTH COUNTIES CONTINUE TO SUFFER “We knew it was a gamble, FROM THE COMPROMISE MADE IN THE but we just didn’t MOST RECENT SPECIAL SESSION OF THE realize the market would turn around LEGISLATURE, WHEN THE LOCAL DELEGATION HAD so fast.” TO SCRAMBLE TO GET A SHARE OF THE BP MONEY The delegation will look for other EVEN THOUGH THE COASTAL COUNTIES SUFFERED sources of money, he said. BY FAR THE MOST ENVIRONMENTAL AND Five major ECONOMIC DAMAGE FROM THE OIL SPILL. highway projects totaling $126.6 million were on will yield less than originally projected. the list when the Baldwin County CommisBy how much? “I can’t tell you at all right sion approved the agreement with ALDOT in now,” said Vince Calametti, southwest region mid November. At the time, the funding was engineer for the Alabama Department of Transexpected to be $55 million from the state oil portation. spill bond issue, $35.8 million from the state The Alabama Economic Settlement Authorand $35.8 million from “other funds,” which ity approved a multi-million-dollar bond issue were anticipated from the pot of oil spill money backed by proceeds from BP oil spill payments. available under the Restore Act. At one time, Mobile County was supposed to Restore Act money is administered by the get $65 million and Baldwin County $55 milGulf Coast Recovery Council, which currently lion, Calametti said. But if the state in fact gets is chaired by Baldwin County Commission $45 million less than originally projected, the chairman Chris Elliott. counties could receive only $39.95 million and The project list included: $34.03 million, respectively, he said. • Upgrading U.S. 31 from Highway 181 to Cutbacks are likely. Calametti said the just east of Highway 225, $25 million; projects will be re-evaluated, but possibilities • Widening Highway 181 from County Road are the Highway 98 project in Mobile County 64 to Highway 104, $18.7 million; and the southernmost stretch of Highway 181 in • Widening and upgrading Highway 180 east Baldwin County. of the Foley Beach Express, $17.6 million; In Mobile County, some four and a half miles • Widening and upgrading Highway 180 west of Highway 98 remain unfinished. The longof the Foley Beach Express, $21.7 million; running project involves rerouting and widening • Upgrading Highway 181 from Highway the heavily traveled route between Prichard and 104 to County Road 32, $43.6 million. Mississippi, where so many serious or fatal acciCalametti said that if the money comes dents have occurred it has earned the nickname through, bids could be let this summer on the “Bloody 98.” U.S. 31 section and the northern section of Although earth work, drainage work and Highway 181. Construction would take about a bridges are mostly finished, some uncompleted year and a half for each project.

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BAYBRIEF | MOBILE COUNTY

Cell-abration

LOCAL INMATES GRADUATE FROM G.E.D. PROGRAM BY JASON JOHNSON

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here was quite a commotion in the Mobile County Metro Jail last week, as a noisy parade of corrections officers and chaplains made their way through every cell block followed by five inmates draped in caps and gowns. “M.E.T.R.O. Metro High,” they chanted. Those inmates had just graduated from Metro’s GED program with the equivalent of a four-year high school diploma after months of studying for an exam that, for some, took multiple attempts to pass. “It was kind of off and on to start with, but it took me probably about three months to obtain it altogether,” said Richard Saxon, who’s spent the past 20 months behind bars. “It was probably about 10 months when I realized where my life was, and I wanted to make a change.” At 28, Saxon was one of the five graduates who received a GED on Dec. 14. The others were Cortez Green, 25; Bryan Moore, 22; Tomichael Tate, 40; and 19-year-old Jordan Johnson. For most, the ceremony was the first time they’d been able to spend personal time with their family members in years. Even those whose loved ones didn’t show up were quickly claimed by the corrections officers. “We’re your family now,” one officer said. Since the GED program started in 2009, more than 170 Metro inmates have received a high school education at no cost to taxpayers with help from other inmates, volunteers and instructors provided through a partnership with Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast.

As he received the certification, Saxon said the GED program was “a saving grace” and could “open up new doors for my future.” Green, who had been kicked out of the program once, said he rejoined for “the lady right in front of me” as he pointed to his mother in the audience. For an older inmate like Tate, though, a GED. wasn’t just about his future. He told the room that he needed his high school education to “try and do something better for my kids.” “In our journey through life, we’ve all done things that were good, and things that were bad — all of us,” Goodwill Easter Seals CEO Frank Harkins said at the ceremony. “You’ve done something bad enough to get you in here, but it can’t keep you here.” However, while Harkins and others offered words of encouragement, some of the graduates’ futures remain uncertain even with an education. Though some are incarcerated for lesser crimes like assault and drug-related offenses, Johnson and Moore are facing murder charges. But despite those unknowns, the instructors that help facilitate the GED program said most of their students are highly motivated throughout a process that “is not easy.” Cyndi Thompson, an outreach and testing coordinator for GESGC, said seeing inmates work through situations others might see as hopeless is the best part of her job. “You’ve got some that are going to prison and they’re going to be there awhile … maybe for life, but there’s still hope for them,” Thompson said. “We’ve gotten letters from inmates that are now helping others in prison to get

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their GED or learn to read, and it’s something that makes their life fulfilling. They’re still doing something … they’re helping people.” But while getting a GED might only be a personal milestone for those facing serious time, it’s a practical move for others — one that can help them gain employment on the outside and, in some cases, avoid a longer prison sentence. Jonathan Braswell, a Goodwill program manager who works with local inmates, said those can be “powerful motivation” for other inmates. One of his students recently avoided a possible 20 years in prison after he spoke with a judge about attaining a GED while serving time at Metro. Instead, Braswell said he was sentenced to nine months of probation, rehabilitation and a year in a halfway house. “That kind of thing spreads back there like wildfire, and the waiting list to get in here is huge,” Braswell said. “For the ones that come in, though, they’re motivated. They want to change their lives, and this is something they know they can do that because they’ve seen the results.” Braswell’s statements seemed to ring true as inmates saw the graduates moving through the different areas of the jail after last week’s ceremony. Block by block, prisoners stopped what they were doing to applaud and congratulate the graduates of “Metro High.” Mobile County Juvenile Court Judge Edmond Naman gave the commencement address to the graduates. Shaking their hands, Naman said what each of the graduates has done is important. He said he regularly sees parents in juvenile court that struggle to make ends meet because of a lack of education, which can affect how their children value education as well. “There are literally thousands of people that are ‘fixin’ to get a GED,’ and the truth is, most of them aren’t,” he said. “Then you guys come into this place where your future is, in some cases, certainly uncertain and you decide, ‘I’m going to break one of those chains that’s been holding me down.’ You guys represent everything we try to do in juvenile court.” Sheriff Sam Cochran said the GED program helps improve the behavior of inmates who participate because it “gives them something positive to focus on.” Ultimately though, he said it’s about “second chances.” “We believe in second chances because we all make mistakes … some of us were just fortunate enough to get away with ours,” Cochran told the graduates. “Today, you’ve been given what I think are the two most important keys to success, and that’s love and an education. They can carry you all the way through your life.”


BAYBRIEF | MOBILE

Stump for Trump CHIEF OF STAFF APOLOGIZES FOR CUTTING DOWN TRUMP TREE BY DALE LIESCH

Photo/Gabriel Tynes / Lagniappe

Chief of Staff Colby Cooper took responsibility for removing this large cypress tree from a public park for Donald Trump’s rally in Mobile.

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he chief of staff of Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson has apologized for ordering crews to cut down a tree from a city park in anticipation of Presidentelect Donald Trump’s Saturday visit. In a statement released Sunday evening, Colby Cooper said he was “overzealous” preparing for Trump’s final “thank you” tour stop at Ladd-Peebles Stadium when he ordered the tall cedar removed from Public Safety Memorial Park. The tree was decorated and placed near the scoreboard at the top of the stadium to go along with the Trump team’s Christmas theme. “(Saturday’s) visit by President-elect Trump to the city of Mobile was an incredible opportunity to showcase our city and offer a great event to those attending,” he wrote. “In preparing for this event, I worked closely with the advance team. In an effort to make sure every detail was covered and the expectations of the President-elect’s team were exceeded, I became overzealous.” During an interview before Saturday’s event, Cooper said he had crews scour city parks for the right tree to help decorate the stadium for Trump’s rally. He said they found one at Public Safety Memorial Park and removed it. He added that the city was given two days’ notice about the tree from Trump’s team and that it wouldn’t have been cost effective to buy one so close to Christmas. “I now know there are citizens who are upset and offended that a tree from a city park was used as part of the decorations for the event,” Cooper wrote. “I accept full responsibility for having this done.” In a statement of his own, Mayor Sandy Stimpson assured citizens the administration would replant three cedar trees in Public Safety Memorial Park to make up for the “mistake.” “At my direction, the tree will be repurposed and our city staff has a plan in place to replant three cedar trees in Public Safety Memorial Park,” Stimpson wrote. “Moving forward, we will ensure this mistake does not happen again. Vibrant public parks are central to my vision for making Mobile the most family-friendly city in America, and we are committed to safeguarding our signature trees.”

Stimpson also wrote that he had spoken to Cooper about the issue. “He made a mistake by directing our employees to cut down a tree from a city park and install it at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the event,” Stimpson wrote. “I have accepted his apology for that mistake.” When asked if the city needed to seek permission from the Tree Commission before it cut down the tree, which was on city property, Cooper said “No, the city doesn’t need anyone’s permission” to cut down a tree on its property. According to city ordinance, in the case of the cedar tree in question, the Tree Commission would only have authority “in lieu of a permit from the urban forester.” Jesse McDaniel, a member of the Tree Commission, confirmed this through a phone interview. “I’m not happy about it, but it doesn’t look like there’s much the Tree Commission can do,” he said. “The Tree Commission doesn’t have any jurisdiction over the tree because it was a city park.” However, McDaniel wrote in a text message that he expects the city to present a permit from the urban forester, or “it appears the city (is) not following their own ordinance and someone should pay a civil penalty.” City spokesman George Talbot confirmed the city did get clearance from an urban forester before the tree was cut down. He said he wasn’t sure if there was any paperwork associated with it because in most instances it is done verbally. While not an oak tree, McDaniel said the cedar could be considered a heritage tree, which makes its protection that much more important. “ … Normally, we should try to protect heritage trees,” he said. In the statement, Cooper said he would be more sensitive “to the spectrum of concerns regarding trees” next time. As for the cutting down of the tree, McDaniel called it “par for the course” in the Stimpson administration. “It’s exactly what we’ve come to expect … ,” McDaniel said. “This administration has an aggressive posture on trees.”

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COMMENTARY | DAMN THE TORPEDOES

Of planes, neck pains and Ubers ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

bar and let’s go!”), 2) Pleading (“For the love of God, please just get us to Mobile tonight! I’m going to be murdered and it will ruin Christmas for my children!”), 3) Bargaining (“I will personally write you a check right now!”), 4) Acceptance (“We’ll take anything within a few hours of Mobile as long as it leaves tonight.”) To her credit, the operator lady scoured the flights and found two seats on a 9 p.m. flight to Pensacola. Sure, my car was at Mobile’s airport, but that was a relatively minor problem. We nervously waited for the plane as the departure time came and went. Eventually our plane showed up and we were all herded aboard so we could sit for another hour and wait for the “fuel truck” to show up. While waiting, Beth found an interesting article about how American is facing a $1.6 million fine from the FAA for excessively long tarmac delays. Good reading. Beth’s brother kindly retrieved us from Pensacola International just a few minutes after midnight, and a $20 Uber trip in the morning got me out to get my car, so all’s well that ended well. If I learned anything more than it’s important to pay attention to whether your plane takes off in the a.m. or p.m., it’s that it is rare only one thing goes wrong when traveling. That and not to eat raw tuna tacos in an airport — but that’s another story. Merry Christmas and thank you all for another year of allowing us to write for you and serve as the Mobile area’s local newspaper.

THEGADFLY

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back to where we’d been staying, our car got plowed by a big ol’ van, giving us both 24-hour whiplash. I could tell the stars were out of alignment for us. I was also already suffering from airport PTSD. The last time I’d flown out of DFW a couple of years ago, my brother and I wandered away from the gate for a few minutes and when we got back everyone had boarded the plane. The guy behind the desk refused to let us get on even though there was still two minutes of official boarding time remaining. The captain even called him and said it was OK for us to board, but he wouldn’t budge, so we ended up in a hotel overnight. So Beth and I got back to the airport at 6 P.M.! determined not to have more troubles. But our electronic boarding passes were suddenly not working, so we headed for the American Airlines desk. While in line my phone rang and a robot told me American had just canceled our flight because they didn’t have the employees to fly it. The robot jovially asked if I was cool with all of that or if I might need to talk with a human. Fortunately the human was more concerned. She explained there was no more room on any flights to Mobile until after Christmas. So American just canceled a flight because of staffing issues, knowing there was no way the people on that flight could actually get where they’re going? I went back through the four stages of airport grief: 1) Anger (“You can’t just cancel a flight for no good reason with no backup plan! Get the pilot out of the

Cartoon/Laura Rasmussen

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’ll go ahead and admit up front that an act of monumental stupidity on my part set the wheels in motion for some pretty awful air travel this past Monday. But once the ball got rolling, the airlines and the universe took over. My girlfriend, Beth, and I traveled to Dallas this past weekend to watch the currently 12-2 Cowboys beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in AT&T stadium. Going to that stadium is always a blast because it sort of feels like a strip club, football stadium and the Death Star all got together and had a baby. The building itself is a show. But this particular night we were lucky enough to find ourselves in a swank private box courtesy of a very kind friend who married well. Not only were they great seats, but there were pretty much endless chicken fingers. It was hard to beat. I’d made plane reservations for 8:30 Monday morning, figuring to get back chained to my desk by 12:30 or 1 p.m. As DFW is one of the world’s biggest and busiest airports, we dutifully showed up unshowered and bleary-eyed at 6:30 a.m. and made it through security with only minimal trouble. A tube of something in my bag that was fine to fly with on Saturday somehow became a problem, so it got tossed. Just as an aside, let me say I take the various FAA warnings and prohibitions very seriously since failure to do so generally leads to body cavity searches. My traveling companion apparently thinks such rules are suggestions and was giving me a hard time about dutifully putting anything that seemed even remotely close to a liquid state into a Ziploc plastic bag where it couldn’t hurt anyone. She told me “they don’t really care about that.” Of course as we went through security Saturday and my properly bagged toiletries sailed through all the scanners and sniffers with no problem, her bag was hauled off to the side where the security officer pulled out two aerosol cans the size of SCUBA tanks. He explained that they were both explosive and flammable and definitely not allowed, then threw them away. I tell this story not to gloat about being right — because soon you will see I have no reason to gloat and also I’m not the type of person who would get a kick out of writing about something like that in the pages of a newspaper. It’s just a cautionary tale. Anyway … so we’re there at our gate by about 7 a.m. — plenty of time to enjoy some delicious airport garbage we bought for breakfast — when I decided to go up to the desk to see if they could arrange it so we’d be sitting on the same row. As the woman typed our names in she got a puzzled look on her face and said, “You know your flight isn’t until 8:30 tonight?” It was like one of those movie shots where everything in the background suddenly goes out of focus. “What!?” “Yes sir, your flight it at 8:30 p.m.” She stressed “P.M.!” like I might still wear a Mickey Mouse watch. I immediately went through the four stages of airport grief: 1) Disbelief (“There’s no way I’m this dumb!”), 2) Bargaining (“Well, can you get me on another flight?”), 3) Anger (“The stupid computer shouldn’t have given me a p.m. choice when I specifically told it I wanted a.m. Stupid computer!”) and finally 4) Acceptance (“Um, hey, this is kind of funny honey, but we ACTUALLY don’t fly for another 12 hours. Ha, ha…. (forced laughter stopped by withering glare).) To her credit it only took Beth a couple of hours to start talking to me again. But her irritation wasn’t helped any by the fact that as we attempted to Uber

COLBY COOPER HAS TO APOLOGIZE FOR HIS ACT OF “TREESON” AGAINST THE “STUMPSON” ADMINISTRATION


COMMENTARY | THE HIDDEN AGENDA

Con-tree-versies arise from Trump visit

ASHLEY TRICE/EDITOR/ASHLEYTOLAND@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

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nly in Mobile could one of the most polarizing political figures in recent history come to town and the two biggest controversies to come out of that visit be those involving an old tree and the young maidens who honor the trail of a flowering bush. It all started when Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s chief of staff, Colby Cooper, received a request from President-elect Donald Trump’s advance team to have Christmas decorations at his “thank you” tour event last Saturday. Cooper said he asked city crews to begin looking in our city parks for a Christmas tree, and they found the perfect one — a 50-foot cedar in Public Safety Memorial Park. The tree was chopped down after verbal approval from the urban forester and taken to Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where it was decorated and hoisted up behind the stage to cover the scoreboard. At some of the other stops on Trump’s tour, the stages behind the podiums were decorated with collections of regular-sized Christmas trees. I guess those were just not “yuuuge” or “tremendous” enough for the president-elect in Cooper’s estimation. Cooper has since apologized and said he “became overzealous” in his efforts to “make sure every detail was covered.” The mayor was less than thrilled with his chief of staff, releasing a statement on Monday afternoon reading, “I have spoken with the Chief of Staff regarding Saturday’s visit to the city of Mobile by the President-elect. He made a mistake by directing our employees to cut down a tree from a city park and install it at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the event. I have accepted his apology for that mistake. At my direction, the tree will be repurposed and our city staff has a plan in place to replant three cedar trees in Public Safety Memorial Park. “Moving forward, we will ensure this mistake does not happen again. Vibrant public parks are central to my vision for making Mobile the most family-friendly city in America, and we are committed to safeguarding our signature trees.” This makes the third “tree-gate” we’ve had under the Stimpson administration in the last two years. And definitely the worst. The first trees, five oaks across from Bienville Square, were removed in the name of development so the new Hilton Garden Inn could be constructed. Though the trees were on private property, the city took some heat for not making sure the developer had all of the proper tree permits in place before they were removed. The developer was ultimately fined $298 for not having the proper permit for one of the trees. About a year later, 17 oaks were removed from in front of the history museum and Exploreum. The city said those offending trees were causing hazardous conditions and undermining sidewalks and the museum’s foundation. But at least the trees in both of those instances were removed with (arguably) reasonable explanations. But just to take down one from a city park to use for a few hours? Geez! I am sure some of the local tree lots would have gladly donated some nice firs for the event. Or if those weren’t big enough, a simple Facebook post asking Trump supporters to donate a Rockefeller Center-sized one off their land would have garnered more than one offer. While I get that hindsight is 20/20, it’s hard to understand why thinking it was OK to raid our city parks for a decoration for this or any other event was ever even a consideration. What’s next? Raiding our downtown flowerbeds so we’ll have nice table centerpieces at the State of the City luncheon?

Anyway, I think the “root” of this problem here was clearly tree-scrimination. Everyone worries about our gorgeous oaks around here, so I bet these city officials thought no one would notice if some knobby old cedar tree went missing.   I guess Cooper and the gang forgot Mobilians are practically Druids. While we do love our oaks the most, we’re pretty fond of all the other ones as well. (Except I do hear there are some fringe groups who hate popcorn trees.) Either way, how these guys didn’t anticipate the con-tree-versy this would cause is baffling to me. Dear city officials: Remember this really bad poem next time you are thinking about dusting off the old chainsaw. I promise it will keep you out of trouble. Be it oaks or magnolias, ginkgoes or cedars, We are going to rage if you butcher any of them, oh city leaders. We love our trees so I often wonder if we should ditch “Port City” or “Azalea City” in favor of “the City of a Thousand Oaks” or something a-corny like that. But our port is important and our azaleas are certainly emblematic of this gorgeous city as well, which brings me to the next “controversy” coming out of the president-elect’s visit. As Trump exited his plane at Brookley Field, he was greeted by a small group of lovely Azalea Trail Maids. A reporter from the Associated Press took a photo with the caption “the president-elect’s welcoming committee in Mobile.” Quickly, the trolliest of the internet’s trolls took to calling them “disgusting” and “embarrassing” and “racist,” asking if this was “Django Unchained?” It was “disgusting” indeed to see high school seniors from all of our area schools (from a variety of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds) subjected to such cyber-cruelty. If there is one thing that is not in dispute, it is that all of these girls are the best of the best. They excelled in school and learned about the history of their city so they could be proud ambassadors for it. They didn’t deserve that kind of ridicule. I have always been told that their frilly, pastel dresses — which have not been without controversy over the years — were more of a tribute to the azalea itself rather than some stereotypical pre-Civil War Southern belle costume. As Mobilians, we get what these dresses mean and know who these girls are and the history of this program. And we are proud of it and of them. And we just want to tell these trolls to buzz off. But with that said, I get the “perception versus reality” argument, too. I was discussing this with a former Trail Maid about her thoughts on this, and while she is certainly still proud of her association with this program, she did express concern about what this looks like from the outsider’s perspective, and if it does indeed hurt our image as a progressive city. Because, right or wrong — some people from other parts of the country do not look at these dresses as being representative of a flower trail but a throwback to a time that shouldn’t be celebrated. And this is something the Jaycees should certainly think about going forward, as I suspect it is a topic that will come up again and again in the future, as the world and the internet are not going to become nicer or more understanding anytime soon.  And since it is such an excellent program, it would be a shame if our brightest and best were discouraged from participating in it because of this kind of ugliness. D e c e m b e r 2 2 , 2 0 1 6 - D e c e m b e r 2 8 , 2 0 1 6 | L AG N I A P P E | 11


COMMENTARY | THE BELTWAY BEAT

Why Trump picked Mobile for his finale

BY JEFF POOR/COLUMNIST/JEFFREYPOOR@GMAIL.COM

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onald Trump’s final “thank you” tour rally this weekend was the first time Mobile, Alabama, hosted a presidentelect for a major political event. Over the years, many presidents have visited the city, but it has been nearly a decade since the last presidential visit. In 2007, then-President George W. Bush spoke at a fundraiser for Sen. Jeff Sessions at the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center. That was hardly the spectacle we saw Saturday. While the city has hosted presidents, it has never hosted a president-elect. In 1860, the city came close, when Stephen A. Douglas spent the election night he lost to Abraham Lincoln at the Battle House Hotel. So, why would Trump choose Mobile as the finale for his “thank you” tour? Because if there were a contest for the most pro-Trump state, Alabama likely would win. Of course the state went for Trump in the general election. It always goes Republican. Alabama Trumpism, however, goes deeper than

When Republicans took control of Montgomery in 2010 for the first time in 136 years, the first item the state Legislature passed was HB 56 — at the time the country’s toughest immigration law. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach authored the law. Kobach is reportedly in line for a job with the Trump administration. Ultimately, the law did not pass muster in the federal courts. In retrospect, however, the attempt — based on what the president-elect has said on the campaign trail — was Trumpian in its ultimate aim. One of the knocks on Trump from within the Republican Party and the conservative movement is that he does not adhere to conservative values, hence the “Never Trump” movement. It is true that he isn’t an ideologue. But neither are many of the Republicans holding statewide office in Alabama. Although he talked a good game about conservatism during his primary contest, Sen. Richard Shelby is better known for his ability to bring in federal money for the state and reguit in his WHILE THE CITY HAS HOSTED PRESI- larly boasts about press releases. Trump took it to another DENTS, IT HAS NEVER HOSTED A level on Saturday in Mobile, when he came close PRESIDENT-ELECT. IN 1860, THE CITY CAME to sounding like Barack Obama circa early 2009. CLOSE, WHEN STEPHEN A. DOUGLAS SPENT “We are also going THE ELECTION NIGHT HE LOST TO ABRAHAM to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure LINCOLN AT THE BATTLE HOUSE HOTEL. and boy does it need it,” Trump said on Saturday. “It needs it. We have spent simply GOP support. In the Republican presi$6 trillion in the Middle East. We could have dential primary back in March, every county in rebuilt our country three times over … I’m askthe state went for Trump. He won it by 22 points ing Congress to support the construction of new over his closest competitor, Sen. Ted Cruz of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways all Texas — the greatest margin of any Super Tues- across this nation. And we will put our people day states that went Republican in the general back to work. It’s time to help get Americans election. off of welfare and back into the labor market, Two of his bigger rallies during the campaign rebuilding this country with American hands by were held in Alabama — in Mobile and in Mad- American workers.” ison. The Mobile rally in August 2015 was one Trump had his detractors among Republithat arguably kicked off the entire large-crowd can politicos throughout the state. Many of the phenomenon that candidate Trump enjoyed over so-called GOP establishment figures rallied the ensuing 15 months. behind Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida during the Indeed, while Trump’s decision to hold a campaign. Gov. Robert Bentley was part of the final rally in Mobile made sense, it was also an 4 percent that supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich outlier. All of the president-elect’s other stops in the primary. on his post-election tour were in swing states. We also recall Reps. Bradley Byrne and Alabama, however, has not gone blue since the Martha Roby calling on Trump to vacate the 1976 presidential election when it picked thennomination after a more-than-a-decade-old Democratic Gov. Jimmy Carter over incumbent audio clip of Trump surfaced of him boasting President Gerald Ford. about his escapades with women. (You have to As far as political identity, if there were a wonder if either of them would like to have a textbook definition of modern Alabama Repubredo on making that decision.) licanism, it would closely resemble Trumpism. In the end, none of that mattered. Obviously the president-elect identifies When historians write books about this past with Sen. Jeff Sessions. The pair were closely election, look for Alabama and Sessions to play allied during the presidential race and Trump an evident role. has tapped Sessions to be the next attorney As presidential politics go, Trump will have general. Much like Trump, Sessions is an antisome good and likely some very bad days. But illegal immigration hawk. Sessions’ position on if he ever needs a pick-me-up during his presithe issue is similar to that of the rest of the state dency, an event in Alabama might do the trick as Republican Party. most of the people here seem to love him.

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COMMENTARY | THE MONTGOMERY MINUTE

Sweet home America BY LEE HEDGEPETH/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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resident-elect Donald Trump’s rally in Mobile last weekend wasn’t just a display of national politics. The rally, the last stop on Trump’s post-election “thank you” tour, called national attention to Alabama’s state politics — which is something we should really just keep to ourselves. That’s because when it comes to “showcasing” Alabama politicians, no matter who you choose to put on a political pedestal it won’t be long before they fall off, if they haven’t tripped already. Let’s face it: When Montgomery sends us politicians, they’re not sending their best. Some, I assume, are good people. But before you even get into who in Alabama politics was onstage at the so-called “thank you” rally, we have to talk about who wasn’t there — sort of. When Trump’s plane touched down, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was there to greet the president-elect: the same governor who’d refused to endorse the real estate mogul’s bid for the Republican nomination. The same Luv Guv who Trump should’ve long ago nicknamed Reach Around Robert. But after that short appearance, Reach Around Robert went missing in action. At the rally itself, Kay Ivey, the lieutenant governor, spoke instead. It may not have been his failure to endorse Trump that kept Gov. Bentley from the podium at Ladd-Peebles, though. It may have been the other Goat Hill characters that scared him off, chief among them State Rep. Ed Henry, who has spearheaded the effort to have Bentley thrown out of office: Impeachin’ Ed, you may call him. Then there’s Alabama’s Attorney General, Big Luther Strange, or maybe more appropriately in this context YUUGE Luther Strange. Strange recently wrote the Leg-

islature to inform them of an ongoing criminal investigation involving Bentley, another tidbit that may explain Bentley’s no thanks to the thank you tour. Strange announced earlier this month that he’ll seek Jeff Sessions’ seat once Sessions ascends to the office of attorney general. At the rally, Strange told the crowd — to huge applause — that he wakes up every day and tries to find another way to sue Obama. It’s a line Luther’s used for a long time, and one he hopes will now propel him to Sessions’ Senate seat. What Strange didn’t tell the crowd, though, is something those familiar with Alabama’s AG know well: every time Big Luther woke up and sued Obama, it cost state taxpayers thousands of dollars, and most of the time Luther lost anyway. And there’s another problem: During his speech, President-elect Trump decried what he characterized as a rising number of murders in the U.S. If that’s true here in Alabama, Luther Strange, our top law enforcement officer, has been the one responsible for not addressing it during his term in office. Maybe Trump should realize that and cut Big Luther down to size. In any case, Impeachin’ Ed and YUUGE Luther weren’t the only state politicos who flocked to Mobile to see the incoming president. Over half a dozen Republican state lawmakers made it to the event, many of them addressing the audience before Trump’s arrival. The problem? If ever there was a swamp to drain, it’s Montgomery. Various legislators, state and state Republican Party officials spoke to the crowd about topics ranging from ethics reform to balanced budgeting. But trust me, these aren’t the people to be lecturing us on either of those topics, or really

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anything between. Just look at ethics reform. State lawmakers lecturing us? You’ve got to be kidding me. And there lies the central irony of the thank you tour: Donald Trump’s road to the White House is intersecting with South Union Street, which is never a place you want to go. Most of the lawmakers who were at the rally voted for Jailbird Mike Hubbard as speaker not just once, but many times, even after he was indicted for the crimes of which he’s now been convicted. That’s not draining the swamp. That’s jumping in it head first with your mouth open. Aside from the festering odor of the swamp Trump promised he’d drain, the biggest insights of the rally for me came at its loudest moments. The first was when Trump mentioned Michelle Obama, who in a recent interview implied that the election made her lose hope. Before he’d even finished his statement, at the very mention of her name, the stadium was louder than it had been the entire rally — the crowd roaring with boos and stomping in the bleachers. I immediately thought of former First Lady Dianne Bentley, now divorced from the governor. Where was the stadium full of people thundering their disapproval of Reach Around Robert after his extramarital scandal broke? Where was the former First Lady’s stadium of roaring supporters? Not at Ladd-Peebles. The second real insight came with the start of the inevitable chant, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” It happened more than once, and to my surprise, Trump waved it off. But each time, as I looked at Trump supporters, who at various times had directly booed and hissed at me personally as a member of the media, I thought about every email I’ve sent and received from a state official from their Yahoo, Gmail, or AOL account. I thought about lawmakers, including Rep. Barry Moore and Rep. Jim Carns, who both spoke at the event, who both have personal email addresses listed directly on the Statehouse website. Were they to be locked up to? Why aren’t their emails the subject of every front page headline? To be clear, I don’t think these ironies are all lost on the typical Alabama voter. The average Alabamian has common sense and uses it, even when it comes to politics. The problem is that we, the media, just aren’t doing enough to get the story out. The media hasn’t recognized the ability of the public to sense — deeply and confidently — the truth of a story when it’s presented squarely and fairly to the reader. So here’s the truth, fair and square: Alabama politics isn’t something you should want to export to Washington. The intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and South Union Street, though, is right before our eyes, and Mobile’s thank you rally was its culmination. America may soon become much more like Alabama, and I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. Now, it may be sweet home Alabama, but soon, maybe around Jan. 20 or so, it’ll be sweet home America, and what a sight that’ll be.


BUSINESS | THE REAL DEAL

Lenzig Group’s Axis facility to be largest global production site

BY RON SIVAK/COLUMNIST/BUSINESS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

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he Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced the Austria-based Lenzing Group, a global manufacturer and supplier of textiles with 6,127 employees worldwide, approved an expansion of its production facility in Axis that, when completed in 2019, will increase its workforce with 163 new jobs. “This expansion in tencel fiber capacity represents a unique milestone in the history of the Axis facility and for the Lenzing Group. The investment of $293 million is part of our strategic growth program announced a year ago,” Lenzing chief commercial officer Robert van de Kerkhof said. According to site manager Kevin Allen, the expansion will more than double current fiber production in Axis, making it their largest production site in the world with a total capacity of 140,000 tons annually. “This project is significant for Mobile County because it represents the fruits of our labor in expanding our manufacturing sector,” Merceria Ludgood, president of the Mobile County Commission, said. The project is located in her district. “The county has experienced a 31 percent boost in manufacturing from 2010 to 2015. This announcement means jobs will be available right here in our county.” The region’s manufacturing growth has earned recognition twice from the U.S. Department of Commerce — as one of the first 12 manufacturing communities in the country in 2014 and again in 2016.

Commercial real estate moves

Saad Healthcare recently broke ground for a new 34,000-square-foot inpatient hospice facility to be built immediately behind its existing property at 1515 University Blvd. S. in West Mobile. The new space will provide residential end-of-life care for patients with terminal diseases or conditions and is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2017. Cycle Gear has leased 4,000 square feet of retail space at 1446 West I-65 Service Road in Mobile and plans to open mid-January. Angela McArthur, broker with Stirling Properties, represented the property owner. Robert Cook with Vallas Realty worked for the tenant. This marks the third Alabama location for the national motorcycle-gear chain. Direct Furniture Outlet has leased 15,233 square feet of retail space at Spanish Fort Town Center, located at 30000 Town Center Ave., Suite B2, in Spanish Fort. Angela McArthur and Jeff Barnes with Stirling Properties worked for the property owner. Buff Teague with JLL represented the tenant. The furniture store plans to open in early 2017. First Equine Veterinary Services, a full-service equine ambulatory practice, recently opened in Mobile. Working out of a virtual office, the business will serve the central Gulf Coast, with plans in place to open a brick and mortar site in the next 18 to 24 months. Hamilton & Co. recently leased a 3,500-square-foot office/warehouse space at 6255 Rangeline Road in Mobile. Rhodes Mechanical will occupy the space as it relocates from Daphne.  Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty leased a 2,100-square-foot office building at 1208-B U.S. Highway 98 in Daphne to Pensacola, Florida-based CPC Office Technologies, a provider of office equipment technology solutions. The property is located at the corner of Highway 98 and Stanton Road, adjacent to Urgent Care by the Bay. Thomas Galloney with Keller Williams represented the landlord. Hamilton & Co. assisted in the sale of com-

mercial property at 9757 U.S. Highway 43 N. in Creola. The small free-standing structure will be utilized for auto sales.  Sharon Wight with White-Spunner Realty sold the 3,660-square-foot former restaurant building at 28905 U.S. Highway 98 in Daphne to a local investor for $490,000. Currently the buyer does not have specific plans in place for development of the property. 

USA’s Piazza named NAI Fellow

Gary A. Piazza, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and oncologic sciences at USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, has been named an NAI Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors. He is one of 175 members of the 2016 class and the first ever from the University of South Alabama. NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors and is based upon a nominee’s patent portfolio. There are a total of 757 Fellows representing 229 research universities, governmental and nonprofit research institutes. Among them are inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Nobel Laureates and recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and the U.S. National Medal of Science. Piazza came to MCI in 2011 from the Southern Research Institute and is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, with postdoctoral training from Fox Chase Cancer Center and Brown University. He holds more than 70 issued or pending patents, including ADT Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company he co-founded with the mission of anti-cancer development therapeutics. Piazza’s most recent patent applications involve novel inhibitors of the RAS oncoprotein, which is considered a culprit in the most aggressive cancers that are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. These inhibitors are currently in the pre-clinical drug development stage and hold promise for the treatment of pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancers.  Piazza will be inducted as a Fellow on April 6 at the sixth annual Conference of the NAI in Boston. BASF contributes more than $43,000 to UWSWA BASF’s site in McIntosh donated more than $40,000 to United Way of Southwest Alabama. The funds will benefit more than 50 United Way partner agencies across Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile and Washington counties, according to a news release. “Our partnership with United Way reflects a shared commitment to strengthening the communities in which we live and work,” Jason Slinkard, site director of the BASF site in McIntosh, said. “This contribution will support the great work United Way does to serve the critical needs of our neighbors in the area.”  In addition to the donation, BASF employee volunteers participated in United Way’s annual Day of Caring. Employees dedicated a full day of work to seven projects at the Educational Center for Independence, an organization that addresses some of the most critical needs for persons with intellectual disabilities. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with BASF and its employees,” Clifford Grimes, president and CEO of UWSWA, said. “They have been longtime supporters of United Way and every year answer the call to give from their hearts. They make our vision of a better community real. For that, we thank BASF from the bottom of our hearts.” D e c e m b e r 2 2 , 2 0 1 6 - D e c e m b e r 2 8 , 2 0 1 6 | L AG N I A P P E | 15


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

FOOSACKLY’S ($)

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

COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE

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

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

PITA PIT ($)

211 Dauphin St. • 690-7482

POLLMAN’S BAKERY ($)

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

REGINA’S KITCHEN ($-$$)

THE GALLEY ($)

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

GULF COAST EXPLOREUM CAFE ($)

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

OPEN FOR LUNCH, INSIDE GULFQUEST 155 S. Water St • 436-8901 HOMEMADE SOUPS & SANDWICHES 65 Government St • 208-6815

ROLY POLY ($)

ROSIE’S GRILL ($-$$)

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

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

SMOKEY DEMBO SMOKE HOUSE ($)

3758 Dauphin Island Pkwy. • 473-1401

TILMO’S BBQ ($)

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

FIREHOUSE WINE BAR & SHOP

RICE ASIAN GRILL & SUSHI BAR ($)

RED OR WHITE

ROCK N ROLL SUSHI ($$)

216 St Francis St. • 421-2022

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

ROYAL STREET TAVERN

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

SOUTHERN NAPA

DROP DEAD GOURMET

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

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

FALAFEL? TRY SOME HUMMUS

BAY GOURMET ($$)

3964 Gov’t Blvd. • 378-8083

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

TASTE OF THAI ($$)

9091 US-90 Irvington • 957-1414

TOKYO JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE ($$) UPSCALE SUSHI & HIBACHI. 364 Azalea Rd. • 343-6622

WASABI SUSHI ($$)

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

7 SPICE ($-$$)

PHO YEN ($)

CORNER 251 ($-$$)

ABBA’S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE ($-$$)

FROM THE DEPTHS

SATORI COFFEEHOUSE ($)

DAUPHIN’S ($$-$$$)

ISTANBUL GRILL ($)

AUTHENTIC SUB SANDWICHES 7449 Airport Blvd • 375-1820

SERDA’S COFFEEHOUSE ($)

DUMBWAITER ($$-$$$)

STEVIE’S KITCHEN ($)

FIVE ($$)

CAFE 219 ($)

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

THE SUNFLOWER CAFE ($)

KITCHEN ON GEORGE ($-$$)

CAMELLIA CAFÉ ($-$$$)

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

CAMMIE’S OLD DUTCH ($)

HOME COOKING. 4054 Government St. • 665-4557

CARPE DIEM ($)

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

CLARK’S KITCHEN ($-$$)

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

CHAT-A-WAY CAFE ($)

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

AL’S HOTDOGS ($)

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

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

BAKE MY DAY ($)

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

THE BLIND MULE ($)

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

BOB’S DINER ($)

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

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

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

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

CREAM AND SUGAR ($)

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

DAUPHIN ST. CAFE ($)

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

D’ MICHAEL’S ($)

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

DELISH BAKERY AND EATERY ($) GREAT DESSERTS & HOT LUNCH. 23 Upham St. • 473-6115

DEW DROP INN ($)

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

DUNKIN DONUTS ($)

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

E WING HOUSE ($)

195 S University Suite H • 662-1829

FIREHOUSE SUBS ($)

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

GUMBO SHACK($-$$) SEAFOOD AND SANDWICHES 212 ½ Fairhope Ave • 928-4100

ROYAL KNIGHT ($)

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

ROYAL STREET CAFE ($)

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

THE HOUSE ($-$$)

JAMAICAN VIBE ($) JERSEY MIKE’S ($) JIMMY JOHN’S ($)

JOE CAIN CAFÉ ($)

JUDY’S PLACE ($-$$)

LODA BIER GARTEN ($) MAMA’S ($)

MARS HILL CAFE ($)

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

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

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

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

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

TIN ROOF ($-$$)

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

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

THREE GEORGES CANDY SHOP ($)

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 Street • 375-1576

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

NEWK’S EXPRESS CAFE ($)

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

OLD SHELL GROWLERS($) GROWLER STATION AND BITES 1801 Old Shell Rd. • 345-4767

PANINI PETE’S ($)

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

NOBLE SOUTH ($$) LOCAL INGREDIENTS 203 Dauphin St. • 690-6824

ROYAL SCAM ($$)

WAREHOUSE BAKERY & DONUTS ($)

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

YAK THE KATHMANDU KITCHEN ($-$$)

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

‘CUE

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

BAR-B-QUING WITH MY HONEY ($$)

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

BAR FOOD

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

MOE’S ORIGINAL BAR B QUE ($)

16 | L AG N I A P P E | D e c e m b e r 2 2 , 2 0 1 6 - D e c e m b e r 2 8 , 2 0 1 6

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

MOBILE’S OLDEST MIDDLE EASTERN CUISINE. 5773 Airport Blvd. • 304-1155

BONEFISH GRILL ($$)

MEDITERRANEAN FOOD AND HOOKAH 326 Azalea Rd • 229-4206

BOUDREAUX’S CAJUN GRILL ($-$$)

JERUSALEM CAFE ($-$$) KAN ZAMAN ($-$$)

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

MINT HOOKAH BISTRO ($) GREAT MEDITERRANEAN FOOD. 5951 Old Shell Rd. • 450-9191

OLLIE’S MEDITERRANEAN GRILL ($-$$)

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

BAMBOO FUSION ($$)

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

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

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

ED’S SEAFOOD SHED ($$)

FRIED SEAFOOD SERVED IN HEFTY PORTIONS. 3382 Hwy. 98 • 625-1947

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

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

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

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

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE ($$$)

2400 Airport Blvd. • 307-5535

SAGE RESTAURANT ($$)

Sushi Bar. 650 Cody Rd. S • 300-8383

LUCY B. GOODE ($$)

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

LULU’S ($$)

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

BAMBOO STEAKHOUSE ($$)

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

BANGKOK THAI ($-$$)

SAISHO ($-$$)

MODERN GASTROPUB INSPIRED BY JAPANESE KITCHEN 455 Dauphin St • 433-0376

VON’S BISTRO ($-$$)

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

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

ZEA’S ($$)

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

BAUDEAN’S ($$)

THE BLUEGILL ($-$$)

FAR EASTERN FARE

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

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

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

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

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

COTTON STATE BBQ ($)

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

MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT AND HOOKAH 1248 Hillcrest St • 634-9820

THE TRELLIS ROOM ($$$)

BRICK PIT ($)

HEALTHY, DELICIOUS MEDITERRANEAN FOOD. 3762 Airport Blvd. • 725-1177

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

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

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

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

MAGHEE’S GRILL ON THE HILL ($-$$)

UNCLE JIMMY’S DELICIOUS HOTDOGS ($)

DREAMLAND BBQ ($)

PDQ ($)

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

OSMAN’S RESTAURANT ($$)

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

PAT’S DOWNTOWN GRILL ($)

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

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

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE ($)

MCSHARRY’S ($-$$)

MIKO’S ITALIAN ICE ($)

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

NOJA ($$-$$$)

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

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

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

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

MICHELI’S CAFE ($)

FIVE GUYS BURGERS & FRIES ($) 271 Dauphin St • 438-9585 BURGERS, MILKSHAKES & FRIES 4401 Old Shell Rd. • 447-2394 4663 Airport Blvd. • 300-8425

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

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

2550 Dauphin Island Pkwy S. • 307-5328

6358 Cottage Hill Rd. • 725-6917

BRIQUETTES STEAKHOUSE ($-$$)

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

A LITTLE VINO DOMKE MARKET

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

FATHOMS LOUNGE

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

FOOD PAK

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

POUR BABY

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

BANZAI JAPANESE RESTAURANT ($$)

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

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

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

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

BENJAS ($)

RALPH & KACOO’S ($-$$)

CHARM ($-$$)

R&R SEAFOOD ($-$$)

CUISINE OF INDIA ($$)

RIVER SHACK ($-$$)

FUJI SAN ($)

TIN TOP RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR ($$)

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

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

GOLDEN BOWL ($)

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

HIBACHI 1 ($-$$)

2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062

KAI JAPANESE RESTAURANT ($-$$)

THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT! 1595 Battleship Pkwy • 626-0045

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

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

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

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

IS THE GAME ON?

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

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

LIQUID ($$)

ASHLAND MIDTOWN PUB ($-$$)


BAUMHOWER’S ($)

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

BISHOP’S ($)

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

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

BUTCH CASSIDY’S ($)

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

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

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

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

MANCIS ($)

1715 Main St. • 375-0543

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

MUG SHOTS ($$)

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

OLD 27 GRILL ($)

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

LUCKY’S IRISH PUB ($) IRISH PUB FARE & MORE. 3692 Airport Blvd • 414-3000

WEMOS ($)

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

PICKLEFISH ($$)

AZTECAS ($-$$)

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

PAPA’S PLACE ($$)

CAFÉ DEL RIO ($-$$)

ZANDER’Z ($-$$)

MAMA MIA!

BUCK’S PIZZA ($$) DELIVERY. 350 Dauphin St. • 431-9444

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

GAMBINO BROTHERS ($) HOMEMADE PASTAS & SANDWICHES. 873 Hillcrest Ave. • 344-8115

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

GUIDO’S ($$)

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

LA ROSSO ($$)

PIZZA, SANDWICHES & SALADS. 5955 Old Shell Rd.• 344-9899 A TASTE OF ITALY . BYOB. 28691 U.S. Highway 98 • 626-1999

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

ISLAND VIEW:

JIA ($-$$)

STALLA ($$)

BEACH BLVD STEAMER ($) CARTER GREEN STEAKHOUSE ($$-$$$) C&G GRILLE ($)

BURGER, WINGS, PIZZA

MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722

EXOTIC CUISINE AND SUSHI

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

ITALIAN COOKING

RAVENITE ($)

FUEGO ($-$$)

HARD ROCK CASINO:

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

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

ROMA CAFE ($-$$)

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

ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL ($$)

Springdale Mall 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556

TAMARA’S BAR & GRILL ($)

SMALL PLATES, PIZZAS, PASTAS AND WINE 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556 PIES & AWESOME BEER SELECTION. 2032 Airport Blvd. • 471-4700 5660 Old Shell Rd. • 380-1500 29698 Frederick Blvd, Daphne • 621-3911

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

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

COAST RESTAURANT ($-$$)

DAUPHIN ST. TAQUERIA ($)

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

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

NAVCO PIZZA ($$)

CASUAL & RELAXING, EXTENSIVE MENU.

FINE DINING ESTABLISHMENT.

PINZONE’S ITALIAN VILLAGE ($$)

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CUISINE THE REVIEW

Mexican Christmas Eve tamales BY ANDY MACDONALD/CUISINE EDITOR | FATMANSQUEEZE@COMCAST.NET

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SO CURRENTLY THAT IS MY PLAN. I’VE GOT MY EYES SET ON MAKING TAMALES FOR THIS SHINDIG AND I PRAY I HAVE THE TIME. RATHER THAN FORCING EVERYONE TO CHIP IN ON THE LABOR END OF THINGS, I WANT TO MAKE THEM AHEAD OF TIME AND REHEAT THEM ON CHRISTMAS EVE.” quila for margaritas (recipe courtesy of Haberdasher’s Roy Clark) and they were almost fantastic. They would have been incredible had Catherine not drifted from the recipe and added more jalapeños than recommended and threw in a habanero to boot. The result was a fiery concoction that only the toughest at the party could stomach. We had pepper juice seeping from our pores for two days. Not even Grand Marnier could cool it off. Let’s just say we ran out of beer that year. This year we are in no danger of searing off our taste buds, as Uncle Donny has his industrialstrength frozen margarita machine well lubricated and ready for business. Sorry, Cat. You’ve been demoted from beverage chairman. You’re now in charge of selecting the chips. There’s Betsy, who is kind of like the fairy godmother of this tale. She flies in from her Eastern Shore abode with a casserole dish of expected seven-layer dip. Since our last Christmas together Betsy has gained a new kitchen, one of impressive size, so we are expecting a lot more from her this year. Yes, Betsy, bring the dip. But what else can you whip up over there?

Photo | Stock Photo

y oh my, how my Christmas plans have changed over the past three years. It was never something I consciously decided. and I’ll spare you the specifics. but my latest Christmas traditions are riding on the coattails of the Mackey family. I’m a fairly independent man who usually prefers to do his own thing, but if you have to hitch your wagon to something there are far worse things than the Mackey family Christmas Eve. It’s a night of early church followed by a raucous Mexican fiesta. Don’t ask how this came to be. You have Scottish lineage complete with a redheaded daughter and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. But when it comes to Mexican food these folks are serious. It may be tacos. It may be enchiladas. It may be albondigas. It will definitely be tequila. By some method this family will be throwing down on some south of the border dishes and I will reap the benefits. One year Catherine made jalapeño-infused te-

Freshly made tamales can provide a festive and tasty centerpiece for your Christmas Eve gathering.

volumes of chicken stock, a few ounces of lard and a couple teaPete, or Pedro, Mackey is in charge of entertainment. Pedro spoons of baking powder. To 4 ounces of lard use 1 cup of masa selects the music and makes sure the beer is iced and the reds harina, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 cup of chicken broth. and whites are properly maintained. His lovely wife, Carol, a.k.a. This works best with a stand mixer, incorporating each ingrediCurls, has already begun her routine of preparing Christmas ent in that particular order. goodies such as Hello Dollies and chocolate-covered strawberCorn husks must be simmered for 8-10 ries. The Mexican dishes come a little later. minutes to become pliable. Keep the filling an So where do I fit in, you may ask. inch from the top and about an inch and a half With a title such as Cuisine Editor, people from the bottom with the doughy masa mixtend to expect you to contribute something. ture and whatever filling you should choose. I’m actually quite fond of the idea of pulling Fold them up tightly and tie with a string (or my own weight, so to speak. But really, most THE MOST TIME strip of corn husk) and steam over mediumof the bases are already covered. It’s not like I low heat for an hour or so. am some expert Mexican chef. I get paid to eat CONSUMING PART OF The most time consuming part of tamale it and to write about it. Sure, I can crank out a TAMALE MAKING IS making is the meat. For pork it’s best to go couple of dishes but I don’t want to just throw with a Boston butt. This could be cut up and something in a tortilla and cover it with cheese. THE MEAT. FOR PORK simmered in a Dutch oven with water and seaSo I got to thinking. Most of my true soning in a couple of hours (you could use the Mexican friends in California always talked IT’S BEST TO GO WITH broth of this for your cornmeal dough in place about Christmas tamales. It was a communal of chicken broth) or you could cook the butt thing. The family and guests would gather A BOSTON BUTT. whole in the oven. around and form a bit of an assembly line At 350 F a good-sized Boston butt will as they shredded the beef and slung it in the take about three hours to cook. The way I do husks with the cornmeal. There was but one it is to watch the thermometer until it reads rule: if you don’t help, you don’t eat. 170 F. At that point the thermometer won’t move for a little So currently that is my plan. I’ve got my eyes set on making while. When the temp decides to climb again you are done. tamales for this shindig and I pray I have the time. Rather than Every roast is different so really watch the temp. After it cools a forcing everyone to chip in on the labor end of things, I want to bit you can easily shred it with a fork in each hand. Savor those make them ahead of time and reheat them on Christmas Eve. Fair charred pieces. enough. My dilemma is whether I should use the normal pork So that’s my plan and I am sticking to it. I’m warming up to roast or shred a turkey for a little holiday flair. the idea of Mexican Christmas Eve. But don’t worry, Mom, I’m When making tamales one should use masa harina, which is a saving room for Christmas Day. dehydrated cornmeal product and can be reconstituted with equal

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CUISINE | THE BEER PROFESSOR

Brews and bowl games BY TOM WARD/CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Photo/ Facebook

BEEF O’BRADY’S IN SPANISH FORT, WITH MORE THAN 40 TV SCREENS AND A RECENTLY REMODELED BAR, IS A GREAT PLACE TO HAVE A DRINK AND TAKE IN A GAME.

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oliday season is also the climax of football season, and as we get ready for all the bowls and playoffs, there are a number of great local sports bars to watch the games and enjoy some good beer. With so many local universities participating in one of the seemingly 900 bowls this season — from the Jags in Arizona, Auburn in the Sugar Bowl, Troy here at the Dollar General Bowl, and, of course, the Tide in the national semifinal on New Years’ Eve — there are ample opportunities to head out and

WORD OF MOUTH

Heroes West gets upgrades, Royal Scam braces for busy New Year BY ANDY MACDONALD It’s an exciting time in the world of Raspaurants as owner David Rasp inches closer to the beautification award. Heroes USA is looking mighty fine with its new parking lot, but don’t think the cosmetics end there. The back area has become a really nice spot for family gatherings with the new Sport Turf and a bit of landscaping. I’ll avoid the “grass is greener” cliché, but a few more tweaks to the interior and this facility will be gorgeous. Speaking of Heroes, both locations are rolling with red beans and rice with Conecuh sausage. And if that isn’t enough soul in

have some beers and watch the game with friends. Across the bay, Baumhower’s in Daphne has long been a great place to watch a game, with loads of TVs and a great atmosphere. During bowl season, Baumhower’s, along with Bob Baumhower’s upscale restaurant Dauphin’s on the top of the Trustmark Building in downtown Mobile, are registering people to win national championship tickets. Baumhower’s also runs daily happy hour specials, and happy hour prices Sunday afternoon.

your belly, then try some bad-to-the-bone collard greens. Here’s the best part: This isn’t just a Monday special. You can break the NOLA rules and eat them all week long! Royal Scam is preparing for a flood of people New Year’s Eve and won’t be running its regular menu due to expected volume. They will have the filet (one of the best ever) as well as their fresh catch plus shrimp and grits. Oh, did I mention the Parmesan-encrusted rack of lamb special? Wash it all down with a moonpie martini and your evening will be complete.

NYE at Fairhope Inn

Potato-leek soup with sage crème fraiche, Alabama oysters on the half shell, pan-roasted filet of beef with caramelized shallot demi, roasted garlic pureed potatoes

Also on the Eastern Shore, not a lot of people may think of heading to Beef O’Brady’s, just off the causeway in Spanish Fort, but it recently remodeled and expanded its bar, and with 42 TVs, it is a great place to watch a game as well. Its bar boasts 20 beers on tap, including some unique craft brews, such as Goodwood Bourbon Barrel Ale, from Kentucky, and Richter Pils from Goat Island Brewing in Cullman. During Alabama games, it offers a $1 off Crimson Ale drafts, from Tuscaloosa’s Black Warrior Brewing Company. The red ale was not my favorite, bitter without a lot of flavor, but if you are a die-hard Crimson Tide fan, you might want to try to just to support the squad. In Mobile, the city’s standard sports bar for almost 20 years is Heroes downtown at 273 Dauphin St. (there is also now a second Heroes location, on Hillcrest, out by USA). In addition to being a great place to catch the college games, Heroes always has a crowd on Sunday afternoons filled with transplants from all over the country watching their favorite pro teams, as every NFL game is on. Heroes has daily specials, including $4 Bloody Mary’s and Blue Moon drafts on NFL Sundays. It also has a good variety of quality local and national beers on tap, including some of my favorites—Abita’s Andygator Dopplebock and California’s Stone IPA. They also regularly offer seasonal beers on tap; right now it’s Vanillaphant Porter from Birmingham’s Avondale Brewery. On the loop, Zander’z Sports Bar & Restaurant just opened at the start of this year’s football season. During the bowl games it will offer “football happy hour,” with $6 domestic pitchers and $1 pints. Its bar currently features 18 beers on tap, mainly standard macro brews, but it does carry some local favorites from the Fairhope Brewing Company and Gadsen’s Back Forty Brewery, including its Truck Stop Honey, which, despite its name, is not too sweet at all, but a lighter ale that goes great with a sandwich. When its expansion is completed, I’m told there will be a whopping 42 beers on tap at Zander’z — and when that happens, I’m going to be there to check it out. Hope all your teams win and you have a great holiday season and a happy New Year!

and white asparagus, or tapenade-crusted halibut with lemon beurre blanc over winter vegetable risotto are some of the choices for this year’s New Year’s Eve dinner at the Fairhope Inn. It’s one of the annual events I drool over every year. Your date will surely pucker up for that first kiss of the New Year after her choice of dark chocolate espresso torte or vanilla bean crème brulee with fresh berries. The cost is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity and includes a complimentary glass of champagne. Reservations are required. Make yours now by calling 251-928-6226. More information is available at www. thefairhopeinn.com.

Wedgie’s cheeses it up

It was only a matter of time since the

birth of my children that someone came up with the bright idea of opening a restaurant that focuses on high-end grilled cheese. Wedgie’s is located at 5955 Old Shell Road just across the street from the Mitchell Center and the University of South Alabama campus. The menu mostly features grilled cheese options as well as salads, soups and dip. But there are other dishes too, such as grilled chicken, pulled pork (Cajun and Cuban versions), brisket and bacon. They serve beer and wine, so the recently opened restaurant is near perfect for someone you love. Wedgies is closed on Mondays. Visit www.wedgiesgrilledcheese.com for more information. Recycle!

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COVER STORY

Trump returns to Mobile: ‘This is where it all began’ BY GABRIEL TYNES AND DALE LIESCH

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resident-elect Donald Trump returned to Before Trump’s arrival, a cavalcade of well-known Mobile Saturday, victorious after a campaign state and national conservatives lined up to take the stage that springboarded to success following his first and introduce the nation’s next president. The message speech in the city in August 2015. was consistent; many of the speakers said they believed “This is where it all began,” he told an enthusiastic Trump was ordained by God to run for and then be chocrowd at a half-full Ladd-Peebles Stadium on an overcast sen as president. The Rev. Franklin Graham was one. day on the last appearance of his brief “thank you” tour. “Since the election there has been a lot of discussion “I said I’m coming back to see you in Alabama, and this about how he won,” Graham said. “I don’t have a stack is our last rally, our last stop, and I just want to thank the of emails to read to you, I have an opinion. I think it people of Alabama,” Trump said. “We’re thanking the was God.” people of Alabama and we’re thanking the people of the Graham added that God “answered the prayers of South because, boy, did we do well in the South … You many in the country” with Trump’s election victory. propelled a victory — a grassroots movement the likes of State Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, also invoked which the world, frankly, has never seen before.” God in his introduction of Trump. Trump won every Southern state with the exception “I believe he’s ordained by the Lord to be here,” of Virginia in November’s general election, and 54 of Moore said. “I really believe that.” Alabama’s 67 counties, with the exception of Jefferson Others, like the campaign’s Alabama co-chairman County and the Black Belt. Perry Hooper, spoke more about the journey to the presiBut Trump’s ties to Alabama are deeper, as Sen. Jeff dency. For instance, Hooper mentioned Trump’s first Sessions has been nominated as Mobile rally, where his campaign Trump’s attorney general. Sessions seemingly got a shot in the arm. was the first member of the Senate “You started the Trump moveto endorse Trump in the campaign ment, Mobile, Alabama,” he said. TRUMP WON EVERY — particularly touting his tough “Jeff Sessions was on this stage language on immigration — but he SOUTHERN STATE WITH THE with you. He’s the best senator … has been relatively quiet since his and soon to be the the best attorney EXCEPTION OF VIRGINIA IN nomination. general ever.” Sessions spoke briefly about his Hooper, who has announced his NOVEMBER’S GENERAL and the state’s support of Trump, own campaign to replace Sessions in ELECTION, AND 54 OF recalling the speech at Ladd 16 the Senate, took the opportunity to months earlier. speak vaguely on what he believes ALABAMA’S 67 COUNTIES, “It was an eye-opening event for will be aspects of Trump administraWITH THE EXCEPTION OF the entire world and certainly the tion policy. United States political establish“President Trump and Attorney JEFFERSON COUNTY AND ment and I don’t think there is any General Sessions will restore law THE BLACK BELT. doubt Mobile played an historic and order in America,” he said. role in the momentum that built, “[Trump] believes in a strong there’s just no doubt about it. I military and peace through strength. think people began to see this was more than a normal He’ll stand up for the military and first responders.” campaign, but a movement … ,” Sessions said. Hooper added that Trump would cut waste, taxes and “Thank you all for the honor you’ve given me, the regulations to help bring jobs back to the state. opportunity to perhaps have a different role in my life. If With more on policy, Alabama Attorney General that was to occur I would give my honest and best effort Luther Strange said he’d spent his time in office trying every day to make you proud and the American people “to find some way to sue the Obama administration.” He proud, to serve everybody with equality and justice.” said under Trump that effort could come to an end. Sessions then addressed Trump. “But I want to tell “We’ll now go on offense,” Strange said. “We’ll work you, this country needs hope, they believe that you with [Sessions] to make sure laws will be enforced.” have the ability to lead us in a new way. I think they Immigration law are encouraged by the new and fresh cabinet you’re asHooper and other speakers also touched on the issue sembling, putting people in there that have courage and of immigration law, which was an important topic for dedication.”

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what seemed like most in attendance. “He will secure our borders and build the wall,” Hooper said to the delight of the crowd. “And who’s going to pay for it?” At that point the crowd yelled “Mexico.” Strange, another candidate to replace Sessions in the Senate, also mentioned illegal immigration. “Our immigration laws will be enforced,” Strange said. “There will be no more sanctuary cities. There will be no more following only the laws we want to follow.” Illegal immigration was one of the most important issues for audience member Linda Bookout, of Loxley, when she voted for Trump last month and during the primary. Specifically, she said she wanted taxpayers to stop paying to educate children of undocumented immigrants. “We could educate every child in America if we stopped,” she said. Her twin sister, Brenda Simmons, also of Loxley, agreed. She said illegal immigration and health care were the two biggest issues for her.

Excited for change

Others in attendance said they were excited about the change Trump will bring. Kathy Gulley, who drove down from Hueytown with her husband, Larry, for Trump’s last tour stop, said she believes his message can resonate with everyone and that’s what won over the one-time Ted Cruz supporters. “We felt more and more confident about him,” Gulley said. “We’re tired of politicians promising and never doing it. We were ready for change.” Alicia Lindsey, of Mobile, said she felt Trump would be a good change from the current administration. She and her husband, Mike, voted for him. “We’re just excited about it,” she said. “We feel like it will be good for the country.” Mike Lindsey said he liked the way the stock market was reacting. “Everything seems to be positive now,” he said. Rickey Hudson, of Mobile, said he voted for Trump both times because the “country has been on the wrong track for a long time.” “I do believe he’ll put us on the right track,” Hudson said. “The way it used to be. We used to be No. 1 in everything and now you’ve got countries like Iran; they’re laughing at us.” Hudson said he believes Trump’s toughness will change the country’s global standing for the better. “There are not many countries that respect us anymore,” he said. “I think Trump will turn the situation around.”

Trump’s return to Mobile

Hudson said he believes Mobile will be in a good position under Trump, who credits the city and his 2015 rally for giving his campaign momentum. “We helped put him on the map,” Hudson said. “I think we’ll have a great relationship with Trump and I think Jeff Sessions will help with that.” Hudson said he didn’t attend the first rally, but watched it on television. Alicia Lindsey said she appreciated that Trump came back to Alabama before taking office. “He seems to genuinely appreciate the people who voted for him,” she said. “For him to come and say ‘thank you’ is huge.” During his roughly hour-long speech, Trump largely revisited the campaign and antagonized pundits, pollsters and the media, but also touched on job creation, crime, radical Islam and illegal immigration — issues he hopes to address after his inauguration Jan. 20. The crowd got involved at times, chanting “build the wall” when Trump mentioned the border, “lock her up” when he mentioned his general election opponent, Hillary Clinton. But Trump did offer some goals, saying he intends to lower the business


COVER STORY tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, eliminate “job-killing regulations, and lift the restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale, oil, natural gas and beautiful, clean coal — we’re going to put our miners back to work. We’re also going to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure.” On jobs, Trump said his administration would “follow two rules: buy American and hire American.” “At the center of our agenda is fixing our absolutely terrible trade deals,” he continued. “We have bad deals with every country and that is going to change fast.” Trump suggested with new legislation, companies that move manufacturing overseas would be penalized with heavy import tax.

On crime, Trump said “We are going to support the incredible men and women of law enforcement and we’re going to bring this terrible crime wave to an end … I have a message for the drug dealers, the gang members and the criminal cartels terrorizing all of our citizens in cities all around the United States and the message is, ‘your days are numbered, we’re getting you out.’” Regarding ISIS and the threat of terrorism, Trump said, “I am going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.” He also repeated a campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of political corruption and encouraged the crowd to support his agenda. “This country has such potential,” he said. “You watch — things are going to happen like you haven’t seen happen in

many, many decades. This is truly an exciting time to be alive. The script is not yet written, we do not know what the page will read tomorrow, but for the first time in a long time, we do know the page will be authored by each and every one of you. “Together, we will raise incomes and bring back our jobs, we will repeal the disaster known as Obamacare and create new health care reforms, we will re-establish the rule of law, defend the Second Amendment … protect religious liberty and appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. We will heal our divisions and unify our very, very divided country. When Americans are unified there is nothing we cannot do. No task is too great, no goals are beyond our reach.”

Woman at center of viral photo returns to Trump rally DALE LIESCH/REPORTER

Photos | (left) Gabriel Tynes / Lagniappe, (right) Mark Wallheiser / Getty Images

A Mobile teacher and mother got a taste of internet fame last year — for better or worse — when a candid photo of her reaching her baby son, Jackson, toward presidential candidate Donald Trump received attention nationwide. “I didn’t realize that a photo was being taken from the stage,” Shuford explained in an email message this week, as Presidentelect Trump returned to Mobile as part of a multi-state “thank you” tour after taking an electoral college victory last month. “My husband was taking a picture of us with his iPhone and I was laughing as I couldn’t believe my baby was getting a kiss from a celebrity. The photo my husband took was meant to be funny.” Not much thought was put into the photo at the time. Shuford said she and her husband, David, wanted to get as close to the stage as possible to see if Trump would notice Jackson. “My two daughters were on the field as the rally came to

an end,” she said. “As Trump was leaving, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if The Donald kissed Jackson? Let’s go try.” The photo, taken by freelance Tallahassee photographer Mark Wallheiser for Getty Images, started to go viral soon after the rally ended. Shuford wrote that she began to get texts and phone calls when the photo began circulating nationwide. “I got a text from my cousin saying ‘You made the Chicago Tribune!’ with a link to the article,” she wrote. “I still didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Then I started getting more calls and texts with people telling me it was all over the news. It was a little surreal.” It wasn’t all positive, though. In addition to being used to illustrate the excitement from the crowd at the event, many on the internet also poked fun at the photo.

“I have mixed feelings about the popularity,” Shuford said. “I’m glad we have the picture, as it’s always a good conversation piece. On the other hand, it was a disturbing discovery as we realized how many hateful people live amongst us, and the negativity those people inspire.” Although she thinks some of the so-called memes were mean spirited, she did find humor in some. She wrote some were “hilarious,” especially one where someone photoshopped her face onto all the faces in the crowd. Shuford and her family attended Trump’s event last week at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. “It was nice to see a candidate interested in Mobile and the people of Mobile,” she wrote. “I think it’s nice to see that Mobile is on the map and known to be a friendly place for the president-elect.”

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ART ARTIFICE

Early lessons in earnest statement BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

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obile might be a bit short on playwrights but that’s not to say we don’t craft our own drama. Too bad most of it is birthed in personal agendas rather than literary expertise. It seems a month doesn’t pass that Artifice doesn’t catch word of percolating injustice or burgeoning scandal in some quarter of the arts realm. It’s been a constant theme during the last 13 years covering this Azalea City beat. Every personnel shift, every restructuring, every new exhibition or change of any type results in skullduggery or whispers of ineptitude. It’s just the way humans are. On Dec. 9 Amanda Solley-Wilson, Alabama Contemporary Art Center director of exhibitions and programs, posted a public statement on Facebook that seemed to address new responsibilities at the Cathedral Square showplace formerly known as Space 301. Though the epistle eventually became a note of gratitude to colleague Allison Schaub and ACAC Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Dow for support, the 709-word open letter started less gracefully. “One year ago, I was struggling with my job at Alabama Contemporary Art Center due to a shortage of confidence, a bully that absolutely detested my ambition and a lack of focus within the organization as a whole. And exactly a year ago, we were informed that Bob Sain [the director] was leaving the organization and no plans were being put in place to fill his position,” Solley-Wilson wrote. Whoops. The last portion ran contrary to what Dow told me on record last December. He said a nationwide search for Sain’s replacement would begin soon. Solley-Wilson’s statements also portrayed her dimin-

Exploreum guitar exhibit winds down

ished self-confidence and general doubts. She went on to describe her travails in seizing control of a floundering institution, then thanked those who helped her. Good enough, but other things gave pause. Selfishly on my part, there was her announcement of an upcoming Cuban art show, something I was told about in spring 2016 but was asked to embargo until ACAC was ready for public disclosure. My compliance came with the understanding I would be allowed a shot at breaking the news. I never received that signal from ACAC before Solley-Wilson’s recent missive. Was her seminal intention to unveil her promotion? Likely, but there was shortfall there, too. It might sound old fashioned, but the Fourth Estate can actually do that work for you plus reach folks you don’t know to create a bigger splash. Though I’ve looked for others, I appear to be our state’s only arts editor — yet I haven’t seen the first press release or email about SolleyWilson’s advancement. Most disconcerting was her reference to ACAC’s organizational miasma and the “bully” who kept her down. She makes further references to “feeling terror” when she pulled into the parking lot and being ready to quit. In corporate/political speak, these aren’t good optics. Regardless of a situation’s reality, it’s not wise to air dirty laundry, for numerous reasons so well proven they’re clichés. It can undermine public faith in an organization, especially if previous staff or directors are still involved. Journalists witness these dynamics constantly. Off-therecord revelations abound and show the three truths of every tale — mine, yours and “the whole.” But when it comes time for public statements, everyone lets discretion

ON DEC. 9 AMANDA SOLLEY-WILSON, ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITIONS AND PROGRAMS, POSTED A PUBLIC STATEMENT ON FACEBOOK … THOUGH THE EPISTLE EVENTUALLY BECAME A NOTE OF GRATITUDE TO COLLEAGUE ALLISON SCHAUB AND ACAC BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRMAN MIKE DOW FOR SUPPORT, THE 709-WORD OPEN LETTER STARTED LESS GRACEFULLY.” This is the opposite of what is needed. Eyes forward, language hopeful and lead from a place of vision not grievance, please. For most of us, it takes too many mistakes to learn these things. With ACAC’s future in your hands, Ms. Solley-Wilson, you’ll need to be a quick study. It’s one of few Mobile venues with the greatest capability of injecting fresh inspirational genes into an often-insular scene, so it’s vital. I’ve seen some truly incredible and innovative art at ACAC, stuff I once thought I would never witness in Mobile as it took a lot of wherewithal to bring it to town. Balancing that potential with winnowing resources is going to prove taxing. Best of luck, Ms. Solley-Wilson, and congrats on the new office.

7-12 and $5 for youth 4-6. A senior discount is also available. For more information, call 251-208-6893 or go to exploreum.com.

needle of your choice. For more information, call 251-470-7770 or email mlmref@ mplonline.org.

Knitting class on Spring Hill

Ballet charity soiree is riverside

If you’re going to be a yarn bomber, you have to start somewhere, right? Well, now is your opportunity to take up the needles and change the world thanks to the Mobile Public Library. MPL’s Knit and Kaboodle gathering is for both knitting and crocheting by beginners and veterans alike. They meet at the Moorer/Spring Hill Branch (4 S. McGregor Ave.) on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 6 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their special projects to learn and share with fellow crafters. For beginners wanting to learn how to crochet, it’s suggested you bring an H, I or J size hook and yarn of your choice; for knitting, bring a US #7 to #10

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The Mobile Ballet’s biggest annual fundraiser is their Nutcracker Charity Ball held each holiday season in grand fashion. It has raised more than $1 million since 2002 to fund the outreach and education programs of Mobile Ballet, and made contributions to local children’s charities selected by the Mobile Ballet Board of Directors through a formal grant application process. This year’s event takes place Dec. 28, 6 p.m., at the Mobile Convention Center (1 S. Water St.). The formal affair also features invited debutantes. For more information, call 251-342-2241 or go to mobileballet.org.

ARTSGALLERY

If you’re looking to entertain holiday visitors, one area cultural institution is open through the New Year with a popular exhibit entering its final days. “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World” will leave the Gulf Coast Exploreum (65 Government St.) on Jan. 1, 2017. The exhibit explores the history and science behind this versatile music maker that has spread far beyond its ancient origins. Included are more than 100 historical artifacts, including nearly 60 guitars — including an eight-necked guitar and various specialty guitars — hands-on exhibits and one six-string that’s a record-setting 44 feet in length. Exploreum hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. It will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission is $12, $10.50 for youth 13-17, $10 for youth

and diplomacy rule. Let’s say you’re running a performance venue and discover malfeasance, maybe a middle manager is dipping into the cookie jar. It’s better to quietly dismiss them without public admonishment. Make it as easy as possible for them to go on their way and let other fallout take its course. Even if the aggrieved lashes out through whisper campaigns and political games, you have to hold steady. It’s hard but also the most prudent path. Artifice tried to contact Solley-Wilson to ask specifically about the “bully’s” identity and gain further explanation about her reference. I was unsuccessful. What soured her public statement most was it sounded too much like an invitation to batter someone who wasn’t there to speak for him or herself. A few of the 250-plus who “liked” the public statement seemed positive of this tormentor’s name and ready to join a public pummeling.


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FEATURE

MUSIC

Perry Guy’s ‘Gulf Coast Christmas’

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BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

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Photo | Courtesy of Perry Guy

or singer-songwriter/author/ salty seas, paired with Cuddly Caleb the Bayou outdoorsman Perry Guy, Beaver’s vegetable dishes. Even Felix the Fox offbeat Christmas celebragives up his natural instincts and celebrates in tions are one of the many peace with the rest of the animals. These events reasons for his love affair with are brought to life by beautiful pictures from the Gulf Coast. During the Melissa Turk Studio’s Bridget Starr Taylor. colder months, Guy assists his Guy received copies of the book in 2015 wife at her Magazine Street art gallery in New just a few days before Christmas. He decided Orleans. The warmer months bring him to Gulf to promote the book on WALA’s “Studio 10” Shores, where he runs Island Life Beach Rentand distributed as many copies in local stores as als & Fishing Charters. possible. As Christmas 2015 came and went, he Guy cherishes the days he gets to spend on determined to heavily promote the book for the the Alabama Gulf Coast, whether on one of 2016 holiday season, and to add to this holiday his kayaks or a fishing boat. He’s also proud to experience of “A Gulf Coast Christmas.” admit his Gulf Coast Christmas tradition is a “I wanted to write a song to go with ‘A Gulf steaming hot pot of his trademark seasonal dish. Coast Christmas,’” Guy said. “It just didn’t “One thing that’s so special about Christmas come to me until last spring. When the song in the South is that we have unique and difcame together in my head, I knew that I had it. I ferent foods,” Guy said. “Every year, I always wanted to encompass the Gulf Coast as I know make the best seafood gumbo ever. I make a it. The third verse says, ‘from Destin to Galveshuge pot, and I usually have to do it a couple of ton Bay.’ That covered my grounds.” times for different people.” Serving as a musical retelling of the book, Guy’s holiday gumbo is just one feature in a “A Gulf Coast Christmas” is the last track on large work of conceptualized Yuletide art he has Guy’s latest album “Island Life,” recorded translated into book and at Pensacola’s Lucky K song. This multi-talented Studio. This brand new, artist is currently promot14-song collection repreing his children’s book, sents a musical style Guy “A Gulf Coast Christmas,” calls “Gulf Coast Island and a companion song of Music.” Guy’s sub-genre GUY’S HOLIDAY GUMBO the same name. mixes trop rock with This mixed-medium IS JUST ONE FEATURE IN Americana to create what concept actually began to he calls “cool, laid back, A LARGE WORK OF take shape last year. “A easy listening” music. Gulf Coast Christmas” Much like his books, CONCEPTUALIZED began as a follow-up to this singer-songwriter conGuy’s 2014 literary debut jures coastal inspiration YULETIDE ART HE HAS “Treasures in the Sand.” and weaves it into tracks TRANSLATED INTO BOOK that exhibit a lighthearted From regional wildlife to local culture, “Treasures serenity that can be found AND SONG. in the Sand” took readers through a carefree life on on a textual vacation to the the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico, complete “Island Life” is the with beautiful artwork provided by Melissa Gulf Coast seen through Guy’s eyes. “Another Turk Studio in New York. Day in Paradise” takes listeners on a motorcycle With “A Gulf Coast Christmas,” Guy decidride as he travels from Mobile to Fort Morgan ed to invite the public to the ultimate Gulf Coast by way of the Dauphin Island ferry. With its tale Christmas celebration, which is held by many of reincarnation, “Brown Pelican” is a transcenof the coastal animals introduced in “Treasures dental look at a familiar sight on the Gulf Coast. in the Sand.” Beach Bunny decorates a cypress Guy says the next single will be “Back Here tree with a fossilized starfish provided by Bama on the Farm,” a dive into the Louisiana bayou Beach Mouse and Gusty Ghost Crab. A trio of with a mix of country and zydeco sounds. The pelicans provide a Christmas dinner from the inspirational groundwork for this song was first

SINGER-SONGWRITER PERRY GUY WROTE THE SONG AND CHILDREN’S BOOK “A GULF COAST CHRISTMAS” WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRIDGET STARR TAYLOR.

laid during his childhood in Kentwood, Louisiana, where Guy says he grew up playing shirtless and barefooted with his cousins and brothers. For him, his life on the Gulf Coast has perpetuated the emotions behind those memories. “We would run wild and free,” Guy said. “That’s the way it is on the Gulf Coast. I feel right at home with the water right there. I love the coast. With most people, you feel it’s where you belong.” In the past, Guy’s albums and books have been featured at beachside institutions such as The Flora-Bama and Tacky Jack’s. However, he says the easiest way to get a copy of either of his books or his latest album is to visit his

website (www.islandlifegear.com). Through his blog, potential visitors to the Gulf Coast can also get an inside look at the area. Guy provides information on all the best places to paddle and kayak as well as the wild fruit found in the area. While this appears to be a dream job for him, Guy hopes the potential success of his books and music will allow him to focus on the more artistic aspects of his life. “I’ve got a lot going on with my music and my books,” Guy said. “My dream and desire is to do writing and have somebody else run the business for me. I’ve got a lot of plans for the future. I’m excited about what’s taking place with my work.”


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MUSIC BRIEFS

Nostalgic wonderland BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

Band: Christmas Wonderland Date: Dec. 21-29, daily at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. • Venue: Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, 875 Beach Blvd. (Biloxi), www.beaurivage.com Tickets: $10.95-$24.95, available through Ticketmaster

T Photo/Courtesy Beau Rivage | Christmas Wonderland

he Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has always been lauded for its beautiful décor. During the Christmas holidays, the casino/resort creates a visual feast dedicated to a holiday theme. It also hosts a Holiday Open House which features local artists and vendors showcasing their holiday wares. The Beau Rivage knows it wouldn’t be Christmas without a grand holiday show, and will conclude the holiday season with a sweet piece of Christmas candy for the eye and ear that will embrace children of all ages. This 80-minute “winter spectacular” will feature beloved holiday classics such as “Let It Snow,” “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland” and many more. These Yuletide classics are delivered through “a high-energy musical featuring talented singers and dancers, festive costumes and a variety of changing Christmas scenery.” For those wishing to spend the night, a “room and show” package is being offered for this event.

Yuletide homecomings

Christmas extravaganza

Band: Muscadine Bloodline, Hannah McFarland, Jake Burford Date: Friday, Dec. 23, with doors at 8:30 p.m. Venue: Soul Kitchen, 219 Dauphin St., www.soulkitchenmobile.com Tickets: $10 advance/$12 day of show, available at Soul Kitchen, its website or by calling 1-866-468-7630

Band: “A Very Merry Christmas Extravaganza” Date: Friday, Dec. 23, at 9 p.m. Venue: The Merry Widow, 51 S. Conception St., www.themerrywidow.net Tickets: $10, available at The Merry Widow and through Ticketfly

BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

Christmas is a time for homecomings, and one of the Azalea City’s most promising country acts, Muscadine Bloodline, will be returning for a special holiday performance. In just a year, this Nappie Award winner has shown it has the drive and sound to breakout beyond the Southeast. Comprising Charlie Muncaster and Gary Stanton, Muscadine Bloodline has had a very productive year, touring the Midwest and opening for Luke Combs at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theatre. The biggest news from the Muscadine Bloodline camp is the release of the single “WD-40,” which has already earned the duo a presence on the iTunes’ country chart. This contemporary country ballad is grounded in acoustic guitars with down-home vocal harmonies. The emotional power of the song is delivered through sporadic trips into the world of rock. The Soul Kitchen crowd can expect to hear this track as well as “Porch Swing Angel” and other favorites.

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BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

The holiday season brings with it an air of pageantry in many different ways. Elaborate decorations line the streets, and holiday-themed clothing is paraded by people of all walks. Christmas is also a time when live performances are held to celebrate the spirit of the season. While schools are often the traditional locales for such shows, The Merry Widow is keeping this concept traditionally untraditional with “A Very Merry Christmas Extravaganza.” This show took shape in the days of the Alabama Music Box. Since then, it has become an annual tradition both for the performers and the audience. A group known only as the Christmas Band, comprising an assortment of local musicians, will welcome two special vocalists this year. Buffy Logan of The Colonel Dixies and Symone French of Infant Richard & the Delta Stones will lend their voices to this celebration.


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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | December 22 - December 28

THUR. DEC 22

Alchemy— Luke’s Request Line, 9p Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Bluegill— Tim Kinsey Blues Tavern— John Fleming & Friends, 8:30p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Callaghan’s— Ryan Balthrop Cockeyed Charlie’s— JJ Felix’s— Jimmy Lumpkin Duo Flora Bama— Gove Scrivenor, 1p// Mark Sherrill, Chris Newbury, John Joiner, 5p/// Lee Yankie Duo, 9:15p Listening Room— Parks McPhail, 8p Lulu’s— Adam Holt, 5p Manci’s— Ross Newell, 7p McSharry’s— Rondale & The Kit Katz Veets— The Family Jewels Wind Creek Casino— Michael Stacey Band, 8p

FRI. DEC 23

Alchemy— Ugly Sweater Karaoke Party, 9p All Sports Bar & Billiards— DJ Markie Mark, 10p Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Blind Mule— Beamin and Timmy Bluegill— Cary Laine, 12p// Redfield, 6p Blues Tavern— Ric McNaughton Band, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Tim Kinsey, 6p Callaghan’s— Sweet Crude Cockeyed Charlie’s— Ben Leinger & Friends, 10p Crooked Martini— Journey 2 Mars, 7p Fairhope Brewing— Lauren Murphy & The Psychedelics Felix’s— Lefty Collins Duo Fin’s— Three Bean Soup Flora Bama— Lea Anne Creswell Duo, 1p// Jay Hawkins Duo, 2p/// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p//// Johnny B Trio, 6p//// Mario Mena Band, 10p////

Alabama Lighting, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Me Too, 9p Listening Room— Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, 8p Lulu’s— JERI, 5p Main Street Cigar Lounge— Jamie Adamson, 8p Manci’s— Gregg Fells, 7p McSharry’s— DJ Tiger, 10p The Merry Widow— A Very Merry Christmas Extravaganza, 9p Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — Retrobution Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Matt and Sherry Neese O’Daly’s— Gene Murrell,Tony Edwards and David White, 10p Soul Kitchen— Muscadine Bloodline, Jake Burford, Hannah McFarland, 9:30p Veets— The Family Jewels, 9p Wind Creek Casino— Fortag, 9p

SAT. DEC 24

Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Bluegill— Hannah McFarland, 12// Harrison McInnis Band, 6p Blues Tavern— Cosmic Bullet, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang & The Road Home, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— DJ Chill, 10p Felix’s— Matt Neese Duo Flora Bama— Jay Hawkins Duo, 11a// Big Muddy, 1p/// Lea Anne Creswell, John Joiner, Chris Newbury, 2p//// Zachery Diedrich, 6p//// Whyte Caps, 10p//// Brian Hill Duo, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — Me Too, 9p Veets— The Family Jewels, 8p Wind Creek Casino— Fortag, 9p

SUN. DEC 25

Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Blues Tavern— Dr. Bob, 6p Flora Bama— Songs of Rusty, 12p// Perdido Brothers, 4p/// Last Honky Tonk Music

Series, 8:30p IP Casino— Asian Show, 9p Soul Kitchen— Monkey Man, Spank Lee, 10p Veets— The Family Jewels, 8p

MON. DEC 26

Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Felix’s— Brandon Bailey Flora Bama— Cathy Pace, 4p// Cathy and Donnie, 8p Listening Room— Eric Erdman, 8p Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p

TUE. DEC 27

Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Bluegill— Shea White Blues Tavern— Dr. Bob, 8p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Jon Maddox, 6p Butch Cassidy’s— Warren Wolf and Jimmy Roebuck Cockeyed Charlie’s— Jordan Bramblett Felix’s— Lee Yankie Flora Bama— T-Bone Montgomery, 4p// Perdido Brothers, 8p Lulu’s— Jimmy Lumpkin, 5p Manci’s— Rock and Roll Bingo, 7:30p The Merry Widow— Rock Doc Tuesday: 1916 Live, Everything Louder than Everything Else, 9p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Winston Ramble

WED. DEC 28

Beau Rivage— Christmas Wonderland, 3p/7p Bluegill— Ross Newell Blues Tavern— Art & Britt, 8p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Callaghan’s— Marlow Boys Felix’s— Bobby Butchka Flora Bama— Neil Dover, 4p// Rhonda Hart and Jonathon Newton, 8p Manci’s— The Spottswood Brothers, 7:30p McSharry’s— Doc Rodgers & The Rock Dogers, 7p

Want to be listed? Email your Music Listings to listings@lagniappemobile.com

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Casey Affleck Oscar worthy in ‘Manchester by the Sea’

I

FILMTHE REEL WORLD

BY ASIA FREY/FILM CRITIC/AFREY@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

AREA

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

do not know whether Kenneth Lonergan is an only child. I do know that the siblings he has written into his films are some of the most indelible relationships I have ever seen onscreen. His debut film, 2000’s “You Can Count on Me,” featured a beautifully complex relationship between adult siblings who lost their parents as children. It remains one of my favorite films ever. Now, in his critically acclaimed “Manchester by the Sea,” among the many deeply felt pairs onscreen none is more powerful than the brothers played by Casey Affleck and Kyle Chandler. Affleck is heartbreakingly real and perfect as Lee, a man we meet eking out an existence working as a handyman in an apartment building. Fluidly integrated flashbacks show him happier, on a boat with his brother and nephew, but that is in the past. When we next see the man, his elder brother has just succumbed to a longdiagnosed heart condition. The film’s many flashbacks are so powerful because they function just like memories. As Lee sits in a lawyer’s office hearing his brother’s will read, his mind goes to the devastating event that has made him the broken man we see today, and it is absolutely masterful. It is a

sequence so perfectly delivered that, although painful to watch, it is also amazing to behold. And it gives us a few moments between the brothers that tell you everything about their bond, that show you why Lee’s love for his brother might give him back some measure of life when he must care for his nephew.

AFFLECK IS HEARTBREAKINGLY REAL AND PERFECT AS LEE, A MAN WE MEET EKING OUT AN EXISTENCE WORKING AS A HANDYMAN IN AN APARTMENT BUILDING. The many tragedies of “Manchester by the Sea” are almost macabre, but the script is so natural and well written that every minute of the story feels completely true. Michelle Williams is also unforgettable as Lee’s ex-

wife; I found a single embrace between the two the most indelible moment in a film full of perfectly expressed moments. A young actor named Lucas Hedges, who had roles in “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Grand Budapest Hotel,” defies expectations of what a young man who just lost his father might look like. His character, Patrick, is a popular guy with a garage band and two girlfriends, one of whom is played by “Moonrise Kingdom” actress Kara Hayward. I cannot imagine that Casey Affleck won’t receive a Best Actor nomination for this role. He takes the unimaginable and shows us what it looks like, on his face. It’s unfortunate we have to wait so long between Kenneth Lonergan’s masterpieces, but when they come they certainly pack a punch. If you’ve never seen “You Can Count on Me,” do yourself a favor and seek it out. And do not miss “Manchester by the Sea,” because it will be the movie everyone will be talking about, and you will never forget the (tear-soaked) experience. “Manchester by the Sea” is now playing at the Crescent Theater and Carmike Wharf 15.

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

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

FROM LEFT: In “Manchester by the Sea,” Casey Affleck is an uncle forced to take care of his young nephew after the boy’s father dies. “Passengers” portrays Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence on a waward, sci-fi space journey. Will Smith leads “Collateral Beauty,” now playing in theaters everywhere. NEW IN THEATERS PASSENGERS

On a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) face living the rest of their lives on board, with every luxury they could ever ask for, they begin to fall for each other, until they discover the ship is in grave danger with the lives of 5,000 sleeping passengers at stake. All listed multiplex theaters.

ASSASSIN’S CREED

Through a revolutionary tech-

nology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. All listed multiplex theaters.

SING

Dapper Koala Buster Moon presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he takes one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing com-

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petition. Five contestants emerge: a mouse, a timid elephant, a pig, a gorilla and a punk-rock porcupine. All listed multiplex theaters.

WHY HIM

Over the holidays, Ned, an overprotective but loving dad, and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). The straightlaced Ned thinks Laird, who has absolutely no filter, is a wildly inappropriate match for his daughter. The onesided rivalry and Ned’s panic level escalate when he learns Laird is about to pop the question. Regal Mobile Stadium 18

NOW PLAYING COLLATERAL BEAUTY All listed multiplex theaters. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY All listed multiplex theaters. MISS SLOANE Carmike Wynnsong 16, Carmike Wharf, Carmike Jubilee Square 12 NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Carmike Wharf OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY All listed multiplex theaters. INCARNATE All listed multiplex theaters. ALLIED All listed multiplex theaters. BAD SANTA 2 All listed multiplex theaters.

MOANA All listed multiplex theaters. FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM All listed multiplex theaters. ARRIVAL All listed multiplex theaters. ALMOST CHRISTMAS Regal Mobile Stadium 18, Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Carmike Wynnsong 16 DR. STRANGE All listed multiplex theaters. TROLLS All listed multiplex theaters. HACKSAW RIDGE All listed multiplex theaters. JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL Regal Mobile Stadium 18


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CALENDAR OF EVENTS DECEMBER 22, 2016 - DECEMBER 28, 2016

MAGIC CHRISTMAS IN LIGHTS BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME’S 21ST SEASON OF MAGIC CHRISTMAS IN LIGHTS WILL RUN 5-9 P.M. NIGHTLY THROUGH DEC. 31. FOR DETAILS OR TO ORDER TICKETS, VISIT WWW. BELLINGRATH.ORG. Photo | bellingrath.org

GENERAL INTEREST “It’s A Wonderful Life” “It’s A Wonderful Life” is showing at the Crescent Theater, 208 Dauphin St., Dec. 21-23 at 11 a.m. For tickets and info visit crescenttheater.com. Dollar General Bowl The Dollar General Bowl will be played at Mobile’s LaddPeebles Stadium on Friday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. The game, featuring the Troy Trojans vs. the Ohio Bobcats, will be televised nationally on ESPN. Tickets and info at www. dollargeneralbowl.com. Wings of Life Christmas Feast Wings of Life will be celebrating Christmas Eve with a feast for the community’s

residents and homeless on Saturday, Dec. 25, at noon. For more information, or if you would like to help out, call 251432-5245. Kids’ Lives Matter Tour The tour reflects a call to action within our communities to aid and assist in creating safe, fun and educational experiences for children. The show will be Monday, Dec. 26, at 5 p.m. at the Mobile Civic Center. For more information visit mobilecivicctr.com. Holiday Donation Drive City of Mobile Animal Shelter is seeking donations of towels, food, toys, formula, grooming gear and cleaning products. The shelter is also offering $20 adoption fees for cats and dogs in the month of December. For

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more information, call 251-2082801. Magic Christmas in Lights Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s 21st season of Magic Christmas in Lights will run 5-9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31. For details or to order tickets, visit www.bellingrath.org. Riverside Ice Riverside Ice will be open at Cooper Riverside Park in Mobile until Jan. 14. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Every Tuesday, each child accompanied by at least one adult will be admitted for free. For more information, visit www.RiversideIce.com. 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. For more information, call 251-861-2141. Midtown Optimist Club Join Midtown Optimist Club every Wednesday at noon for lunch at Azalea City Golf Course. For reservations and more information, please call 251-348-3542. Toastmasters Do you want to learn how to deliver a speech like a pro or gain leadership skills to advance your career? Toastmasters International meets regularly at six locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Visit www.toastmasters.org for more information.

FUNDRAISERS Tree of Lights This holiday season, a special tree will once again be displayed in the Thomas Hospital lobby to recognize and remember the special people in our lives during the holiday season. For an order form or more information, please call 251-279-1686.

ARTS “Christmas Wonderland” The spirit of the season comes to life with “Christmas Wonderland” in the Beau Rivage Theatre (Biloxi), Dec. 21-29. A musical extravaganza featuring singers and dancers, festive holiday sets and stunning


costumes. Tickets start at $10.95 per person. For tickets and more information, visit beaurivage.com.

MUSEUMS “Filming the Camps” The History Museum of Mobile will exhibit “Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg” through Jan. 16. The exhibit features the stories of three film directors as they documented Nazi atrocities during World War II. For more information, visit museumofmobile.com. Tea for Two Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. the Fairhope Museum of History hosts a tea with a lecture on Fairhope history. The Dec. 27 speaker will be Donnie Barrett. For more information, call 251929-1471. Little Discoveries Outside the Box: This “Little Discovery” in the Exploreum’s Wharf of Wonder, aimed at children 6 and under, explores how innovation and creativity can lead to a world of possibilities starting with a simple cardboard box. Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Call 251208-6893 or email jholland@ exploreum.com for more

information. “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World” Through Jan. 1, the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center features a hands-on gallery and more than 60 guitars on display. There is also a rock photography exhibit by Janet Macoska. For information, call 251-208-6893 or visit exploreum.com. Thursdays at MMoA Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all visitors. No reservations are necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. For more information, call 251-208-5200.

SPORTING EVENTS/ ACTIVITIES

classes, including ballroom dance, boxing and more. For more information, call 251-4637980. Bridge lessons The Mobile Bridge Center offers free bridge lessons each Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at 1510 University Blvd. Arrive a few minutes early to register. If you have questions, call the Bridge Center at 251-666-2147, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Holy yoga Tamara William leads a lunchtime holy yoga at The Steeple on St. Francis every Wednesday. The cost is $15. Participants will connect with Christ in mind, body and spirit. For more information, call 251656-3269.

Ballroom dance Azalea Ballroom Dance Club hosts dances with live 15th annual Santa Run music the second and fourth Annual 2-mile fun-run, walk, bike Tuesday of every month, ride, dog walking, charity event 7-9:30 p.m. at Via! Health, for Make-A-Wish Alabama. Race Fitness & Enrichment Center, begins and ends at 4072 Old Shell 1717 Dauphin St. Email Road, Mobile, in front of Carpe cyoungblood9278@gmail.com, Diem. Saturday, Dec. 24, 10 a.m. call 251-623-9183 or visit www. To register visit carpe-coffee.com/ azaleaballroomdanceclub.com. santarun. Exercise classes Palmer Pillans Middle School hosts a wide variety of exercise

Ballroom dance The Moonlight Chasse Ballroom Dance Society hosts

dances the first and third Monday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m., at Fitzpen Place, 11247 State Highway 31 in Spanish Fort. Email cassief13@aol.com.

PUBLIC MEETINGS Baldwin County Commission: First and third Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., 322 Courthouse Square, Bay Minette. Work sessions are the second and fourth Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. rotating between Bay Minette, the Foley Satellite Courthouse, the Fairhope Satellite Courthouse and the Baldwin County Central Annex Building in Robertsdale. www. baldwincountyal.gov Baldwin County Planning Commission: First Thursday at 6 p.m., 22251 Palmer St., Robertsdale, www. baldwincountyal.gov. Bayou La Batre City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m., 13785 S. Wintzell Ave., www.cityofbayoulabatre. com. Chickasaw City Council: Second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m., 224 N. Craft Highway, 251-452-6450. Citronelle City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6:30

p.m., 19135 Main St., 251-8667973. Creola City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6 p.m., 190 Dead Lake Road, #A, 251675-8142. Daphne City Council: First and third Monday at 6:30 p.m., 1705 Main St. Work sessions are the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m., www.daphneal. com. Dauphin Island Town Council: First and third Tuesdays at 7 p.m., 1011 Bienville Blvd., www. townofdauphinisland.org. Fairhope City Council: Second and fourth Monday at 6 p.m., 161 N. Section St. Work sessions are held before each council meeting at 4:30 p.m., www.cofairhope.com. Fairhope Planning Commission: First Monday at 5 p.m., 161 N. Section St. For more information visit www. cofairhope.com. Foley City Council: First and third Monday at 5:30 p.m., 407 E. Laurel Ave. Work sessions begin at 4 p.m., www. cityoffoley.org. Gulf Shores City Council: Second and fourth Mondays at 4 p.m., 1905 W. First St., www. gulfshoresal.gov.

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MEDIA MEDIA FRENZY

Fake sites stealing real ad dollars BY ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM

A

THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE RETRONYMS BY TOM MCCOY / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 “The cauldron of Democracy” 8 Leaving word 13 Figure skater Cohen 18 Opponents of the Protestant Reformation 19 Pickup truck’s capacity, maybe 20 Common word in insurance company names 21 Dialect that was called 22-Across before the age of colonialism 23 Giving heat? 24 Share 25 Dummy symbols in ciphers 26 Fever fit 28 ____ point 29 “Fernando” band 31 Stops 33 System that was called 34-Across before the Internet 35 Concept that was called 36-Across before research into the square root of negatives 37 Airport figs. 38 PBS’s “____ Can Cook” 39 Small newt 40 Coins that pay for passage over the River Styx 41 Believes (in) 43 Gridiron gains: Abbr. 45 Terrier carrier 47 ____ splints (runner’s ailment) 48 Machinelike 51 Cackle from a greedy person 52 Food that was called 53-Across before Twizzlers and the like 54 Skimobile, informally 55 “Tell me how you really feel!” 57 Gross 58 Squeeze (out) 59 Symbol for density 62 Cinnamon candies 65 Personal datum: Abbr. 67 Jackson 5 No. 1 hit 70 Against 72 W.W. II danger 74 Source of the saying “It is more blessed to give than to receive” 78 Fastener that was called 80-Across before a rounded design was implemented 82 Dancer Duncan 85 Belonging to the highest level 86 Part of the names of four state capitals 87 Escapes 88 Whoop 89 Rids of vermin, in a way 91 Peddler’s stock 92 Quaint contraction 93 Nickname of a “Game of

Thrones” dwarf, with “the” 95 Realtor’s goal 96 Entertainment category that was called 97-Across before talkies 98 Object that was called 100-Across before electronic documents 101 “Good enough” 102 ____ dixit 103 Part of Dixie: Abbr. 104 Ages and ages 105 Something you might have a gut feeling about? 106 Painter Jean 107 Horror and mystery 109 Activity that was called 111-Across before pesticides 115 Degree 116 Not belonging to anybody 117 Property recipient 118 Aids in filing 119 Main points 120 “Oh, jeez!” DOWN 1 Police broadcast, for short 2 Disfigure 3 Climax of many a fantasy novel 4 Mass, e.g. 5 Doubter’s question 6 Small monetary amts. 7 Light-colored wood 8 Rod user 9 Apple alternatives 10 Reply to 5-Down 11 “Rosy-fingered” Greek goddess 12 Releases, dramatically

13 Without a doubt 14 Something to bank on 15 Look for business? 16 Site of the infamous Hoa Lo Prison 17 ____ bloom (result of fertilizer pollution) 19 Burdens 20 Home of Haleakala National Park 22 Empower 27 Stomach-related 29 South American corn cakes 30 Happened to 31 Mark of success in business? 32 Portrays feelings 33 Was horrible 34 Onetime title for Bernie Sanders 36 “Me neither” 37 Former attorney general Holder 41 “Oof!” 42 They go about two feet 44 Ailing 46 Spock’s rank: Abbr. 47 Declined 49 Target demographic for Hot Wheels 50 Bee follower 52 “Ta-ta!” 53 “The Simpsons” girl 56 Like the planet in “Dune” 60 “lol” 61 Upright 63 Observe 64 Drag away 66 Zilch 67 Opposite of fore

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68 Tea Partiers in Congress, e.g. 69 Apparel also called clamdiggers 71 Agrees to fight 73 Like many wedding cakes 75 Purported rural shenanigan 76 Lags 77 Argument-ending reply 79 “Go ahead, I’m listening” 80 Like snakes 81 Ticket 83 Court reporter, e.g. 84 Helper: Abbr. 87 Caesar’s “Commentaries on the ____ War” 90 “The Real Slim Shady,” for one 91 Actor Bruce 94 Primps 96 “Brown Sugar” band, with “the” 97 Not as lax 98 Vibrating device 99 Siri : iPhone :: ____ : Amazon Echo 100 Go for 101 “____ even” 105 I’s 106 “O mio babbino caro,” for one 108 Be an agent (for) 110 Charles, par exemple 111 Ice Bucket Challenge, for one 112 Quaff in Middle-earth 113 Opposite of paleo114 Goal for some dropouts, for short

ANSWERS ON PAGE 37

s advertisers and media companies continue trying to move further into the world of digital advertising, there continue to be hard examples of why that medium doesn’t always deliver what it promises. Most tech-savvy advertisers are already aware a good percentage of hits recorded in digital ads are often “bots,” or computer programs acting as human readers. Now The New York Times has published a story saying Russian “cyberforgers” have created more than half a million fake internet users and a quarter of a million fake websites to trick advertisers into paying for video ads that are never watched. That’s right, fake people on fake websites watching real ads and getting paid real advertising dollars. The company White Ops, an ad-focused computer security firm, publicly reported the scam and says it’s costing advertisers $5 million a day. While the advertisers ripped off by the scheme were not reported, some of the media outlets involved included Fox News, CBS, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. According to the article, digital ad fraud was projected to cost marketers more than $7 billion in 2016, raising the question of exactly what are online advertisers getting. Essentially the forgers were able to “cre-

ate” more than half a million online “people” who watched video just as actual humans might — even starting and stopping and moving a mouse around the page and clicking. At the end of the day the forgers were collecting money from advertisers and ad networks after convincing them their ads had been seen hundreds of millions of times. Monster donation from AMG The Alabama Department of Archives and History received a major donation last week from the Alabama Media Group in the way of millions of photographic negatives shot by the company’s newspapers over the years. On Dec. 14, AMG announced the donation of more than three million negatives to ADAH in Montgomery. The department will preserve the images, digitizing them and making them available to the public, according to a press release from ADAH. The negatives were produced by the photographers who worked for the state’s Newhouse-owned newspapers from the 1920s through the end of the 20th century. The Mobile Press-Register, Huntsville Times and Birmingham News are all owned by Newhouse and run by its subsidiary, AMG. The donation should give the public access to a treasure trove of images that may have been filed away for decades. The ADAH can be visited online at www.archives. alabama.gov.


STYLE GARDENING

How to start your winter sowing now BY ALICE MARTY, MOBILE MASTER GARDENER | COASTALALABAMAGARDENING@GMAIL.COM

Photos | Courtesy of Alice Marty

Q: When I try starting my spring garden

plants indoors, I always run into problems that leave me with spindly plants, or they all die. How can I get a head start on my garden without building a greenhouse?

A:

The method of starting your seedlings on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights is easy to do wrong. Beginning gardeners often fall into a couple of traps when using the windowsill method, both of which result in leggy (tall spindly) seedlings that transplant badly. They usually can’t get enough light to their plants, and they start the seedlings too early. Damping off, a fungus encouraged by excess moisture with little air movement, is another potential problem that will kill your seedlings. Then, when you bring your remaining seedlings outside to plant in the garden, they suffer a severe shock — they’re used to the climate-controlled conditions inside your house, so unless you harden them off slowly, many will die. To let you in on a little secret, many Master Gardeners won’t start their early garden transplants without a greenhouse. But one technique of giving your seeds a greenhouse-like start may surprise you. Let me introduce you to a method I found a few years ago that has made me a seed growing legend. Well, maybe not a legend, but I no longer use my grow lights and I don’t have a greenhouse, yet I get hundreds of healthy early transplants. “Winter sowing method” — according to

the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library — is a propagation method used throughout the winter, where temperate climate seeds are sown into protective vented containers and placed outdoors to foster a naturally timed, high-percentage germination of climate-tolerant seedlings. Since we really don’t have much of a winter here on the Gulf Coast, I didn’t think it would be applicable for us zone 8b gardeners. But being a Master Gardener I just had to give it a try. According to the official website, “winter sowing” is done outdoors during winter using mini greenhouses made from recyclables; there are no heating devices, no energy wasting light set-ups or expensive seed starting devices. Using clean, clear plastic containers such as milk jugs or 2-liter soda bottles, you build mini greenhouses that will germinate your plants weeks earlier outdoors. Just cut around the middle of the container, leaving a small hinge that keeps the top and bottom attached. Make drainage slits in the bottom. Fill the bottom half with potting soil or seed starting mix (not garden soil), water, let it drain, sow your seeds and cover with more soil. Water and drain again before you tape the cut edges together and simply remove the cap for air transpiration. Don’t forget to label the container with the type of seed that was planted. Planting mystery plants at a later date is extremely frustrating. Begin planting the seeds around the winter

solstice in December, and plant through February depending on the cold-hardiness of the plant you are starting. This method works for seeds that need to be stratified, or seeds with hard shells that usually need changing temperatures along with moisture to aid in germination. If there is a freezing cold snap expected and your seedlings have begun their growth, simply cover them overnight. For more details on winter sowing: wintersown.org/wseo1/How_to_Winter_ Sow.html. Kevin in the Garden winter sowing: agardenforthehouse.com/2010/12/wintersowing-101.

YOU ARE INVITED TO THESE UPCOMING GARDENING EVENTS:

What: Mobile Master Gardeners Monthly Meeting When: Thursday, Jan. 12, 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Topic: Winter Sowing and Milkweed, presented by Alice Marty What: Lunch and Learn When: Monday, Jan. 23, noon to 1 p.m. Where: Jon Archer Center, 1070 Schillinger Road N., Mobile Topic: Ionix Detox & Herbs for Health, presented by Carol Wattier and A.D. Hale

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SPORTS UPON FURTHER REVIEW

Troy ready for showdown with Ohio in Dollar General Bowl BY J. MARK BRYANT/SPORTS WRITER/SPORTS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM/TWITTER @GOULAGUY

Representing the Sun Belt

The Trojans are coming off an impressive regular season. They climbed to No. 25 in the AP rankings, becoming the first Sun Belt team to achieve the feat. Troy (9-3 overall, 6-2 league) topped the SBC in scoring, passing and total offense with 49 touchdowns and 5,263 total yards. “We are excited to be selected to play in the Dollar General Bowl against an outstanding Ohio University team,” Troy athletic director Jeremy McClain said. “We look forward to spending our bowl season in Mobile, and bringing the Troy fan base down to cheer on the Trojans.” At the helm is Neal Brown, who at 36 is one of the youngest head coaches in the nation. Troy’s five-win improvement ranks as the fifth-best turnaround nationally. Troy placed a league-high seven players on the AllSun Belt first-team and a total of 15 players on the select squad. Senior end Rashad Dillard was named Defensive Player of the Year after collecting 7.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery, an interception and eight quarterback hurries. Joining him on the first-team are quarterback Bran-

don Silvers, running back Jordan Chunn, wide receiver Emanuel Thompson, offensive lineman Antonio Garcia and return specialist Jabir Frye. Chunn was also named to the first-team as an all-purpose player. The second-team squad includes wide receiver Deondre Douglas, offensive lineman Tyler Lassiter and defensive back Jalen Rountree. Kicker Ryan Kay, linebacker William Lloyd, defensive lineman Baron Poole and defensive back Kamryn Melton were honorable mention selections, while Kris Weatherspoon was on the All-Newcomer Team.

Photo | Courtesy of Troy University

T

he year was 1999, and the number of post-season bowl games had reached just 23. New on the scene was a contest that did not even have a sponsor. It was simply called the Mobile Alabama Bowl. Since that first outing — won 28-14 by Texas Christian over East Carolina — some exciting games have taken the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. In 2001, Marshall rallied from a 38-8 deficit to shock East Carolina, 64-61, in double overtime. This set the record for most combined points in a bowl game. The star was quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was twice named the Most Valuable Player as he led the Thundering Herd to victory the next year against Louisville. Other NFL superstars to earn MVP honors in the bowl game include LaDainian Tomlinson for TCU in 2000 and Ben Roethlisberger for Miami of Ohio in 2003. Corporate sponsors saw something special was happening and jumped aboard. GMAC led the way for a decade, followed by GoDaddy for another five seasons. When the Troy Trojans and Ohio Bobcats face each other this Saturday, Dec. 24, it will be known as the Dollar General Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN. “We are excited to have Dollar General — who has such a large national and localized presence — support Mobile’s biggest event of the year,” Jerry Silverstein, Dollar General Bowl president, said. “We are looking forward to another great bowl game.”

Representing the MAC

Ohio University (8-5 overall, 6-3 conference) is making its second appearance in the bowl, having lost to Southern Miss 28-7 in 2007. They won the East Division of the Mid-American Conference and lost the league championship game by six points to undefeated Western Michigan. “We are proud of the accomplishments of our team to go to another bowl game and excited for the opportunity to return to Mobile. This is an outstanding bowl and a great destination for our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” Ohio athletic director Jim Schaus said. “This has been an exciting year for our team and we are looking forward to the opportunity to play in a great city against Troy in the Dollar General Bowl.” Head coach Frank Solich, who has led Ohio to 84 wins since 2006, had 10 players earn all-conference honors. Defensive end Tarell Basham (11.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, 49 tackles) was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year while safety Javon Hagan (3 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 50 tackles) was selected the Freshman of the Year. Basham is joined on the first-team defense by linebackers Blair Brown and Quentin Poling. Place-kicker Louie Zervos is also in the unit. Hagan is on the second-team along with offensive lineman Troy Watson. On the third-team are wide receiver Sebastian Smith, center Jake Pruehs, defensive lineman Casey Sayles and punter Michael Farkas.

Schools benefit from art

For the 11th year, the cover for the Dollar General Bowl program was selected through an art competition. This year’s theme was “Wildlife and Waterways of the Bay Area.” The contest received more than 200 entries. Judges from the Eastern Shore Art Center and the Mobile Museum of Art selected the finalists. Winning first place were Catherine Chung (6th to 8thgrade division, Dunbar Magnet), Ashley Suchan (9th to 10th-grade division, Bayside Academy) and Caroline Myers

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TROY SENIOR END RASHAD DILLARD WAS NAMED DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR AFTER COLLECTING 7.5 SACKS, 13.5 TACKLES FOR LOSS, A FUMBLE RECOVERY, AN INTERCEPTION AND EIGHT QUARTERBACK HURRIES. (11th to 12th-grade division, St. Paul’s Episcopal). However, it will be artwork by Sarah Posey of St. Paul’s that will be featured on the cover. The work of all winners will appear in the program. More than $18,500 has been awarded to local school arts programs by the competition.

Plenty to do for the fans

The 18th annual bowl game is one of the largest sporting events in Mobile each season, along with the Senior Bowl all-star clash. “Football has been a part of Mobile’s history and culture for decades,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “Gridiron greats such as Ben Roethlisberger, LaDainian Tomlinson, Walter Payton, Dan Marino and Brett Favre have all competed in our very own Ladd-Peebles Stadium. I want to thank Dollar General for embracing this proud tradition in our city. Dollar General has long had a presence in Mobile as an employer and retailer. We’re excited to take that partnership to another level.” The first big event is the Mayor’s Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 22, featuring former South Carolina and Florida head coach Steve Spurrier as the keynote speaker. The luncheon will be at noon at the Mobile Convention Center. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at www.DollarGeneralBowl.com or by calling 251-635-0011. Activities that night will revolve around Bienville Square. A street party with live music starts at 5 p.m. The always-popular Mardi Gras-style parade featuring 16 local parading societies plus college bands and cheerleaders begins at 6:30 p.m. Pep rallies for both teams will follow in Bienville Square. Fanfest — a tailgate experience with games and activities for all football fans — starts at 5 p.m. Friday and runs until kickoff. A fireworks display is planned for after the game. Dollar General Bowl game tickets can be purchased at the Dollar General Bowl website (see Mayor’s Luncheon details above). Prices are $45 for sideline seats and $15 for general admission.


STYLE HOROSCOPES SANTA STEALS FROM SAGITTARIUS SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — You’ll be perplexed to discover Santa rejects the cookies and milk you left out Christmas Eve. But you’ll note that between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m., a Callaghan’s gift card and a handful of mini liquor bottles mysteriously disappeared. CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — Your insurance company will deny your claim for “reindeer damage” on the roof. You’ll also have a hard time in April convincing them the Easter Bunny destroyed your entire landscape. AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — You’ll take batteries out of a remote control to power some other device gifted on Christmas Day. Later, you’ll take the batteries back out of the device and return them to the remote control, part of a delicate battery ballet that will last for years to come. PISCES (2/19-3/20) — Nintendo’s mobile app will cause some trouble next week after you die in Mario Run. While your boss will initially believe you’re checking an urgent email, you’ll blow your cover after muttering “damn you, stupid turtle” in the middle of a staff meeting. ARIES (3/21-4/19) — An elaborate holiday prank will wind up sending you to the hospital after your grandmother proves to be quite the marksman. After seeing you leap from the chimney in the dead of night, the family matriarch will fill you with much more than the spirit of Christmas. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — The sudden onslaught of winter weather will drastically change the way your significant other responds to cold feet in the bedroom. While a cold-toes attack might have started a tickle fight in August, it could very well lead to a custody battle as January draws closer. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — After being accused of adultery, you’ll have an Alabama police department write a lengthy response to your beloved. The sheer number of redactions will prevent further escalation, and you’ll be able to deny any wrongdoing by citing concerns for “active investigations.” CANCER (6/22-7/22) — You’ll be called on the carpet next Monday morning when your bosses discover you overran the budget on the office holiday party. Your “Not So Ho Ho Hum Drum” party featured the USS Alabama floating in champagne, among other amenities. LEO (7/23-8/23) — You’ll land a coveted cabinet position when you convince Donald Trump to replace several Navy ships with duck boats. Gun turrets will be added to the amphibious vehicles and they’ll be painted a steel gray. The idea will float for a while, until it begins to scare tourists. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — In honor of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s death, you’ll hum the “Green Acres” theme song throughout the week (even though that show starred her sister Ava). You’ll also be called on to lector at mass. With the pews packed, you’ll read from the “Letter of St. Paul to Ephesians” and put “dahling” at the end. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — You’ll discover, after years of research, that the “Star Wars” franchise of movies were documentary films. The revelation won’t be too surprising because it’ll kind of explain Hayden Christensen’s terrible performances. He wasn’t even trying to act. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — You’ll drink so much eggnog that you’ll be wearing nothing but a strategically placed stocking by the end of Christmas night. You’ll have to apologize after singing “Jingle Balls,” “Deck the Balls” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa’s …”

ANSWERS FROM PAGE 34

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STYLE BOOZIE

Lagniappers party like it’s Christmas BY BOOZIE BEER NEWS

I

t’s beginning to look (and feel) like Christmas Ev’rywhere you go, Take a look at the liquor store line, it’s growing once again With candy-cane vodka and silver Patron bottles that glow.” I’ll stop, but I am really beginning to think I am in the wrong line of work. I have gotten really good at changing up the lyrics to Christmas classics, not to brag or anything. But have no fear, little ones, I can’t sing so I’m not going anywhere and neither is the gossip! So Merry Christmas, I hope Santa brings coal because I am sure you were naughty.

“Merry Christmas, you filthy animals”

Ashley and Rob outdid themselves once again! Lagniappe’s annual Christmas party was last Thursday night and let’s just say, they know how to throw a party. The night started out at Callaghan’s for happy hour. Many Lagniappers and their boos gathered for beers and holiday cheer. Nothing too cray, it was still early. From there, the party moved to The Steeple for food and more drinks. First off, if you haven’t been to The Steeple, I highly suggest going. It was beautiful and I am sure concerts there are awesome. Speaking of concerts, Travis Tritt is playing there in January. Boozie would gladly accept tickets if anyone offered them, just saying. But back to the party. The food hit the spot: there was crab bisque, pork, mashed potatoes, and seared tuna (Boozie’s personal favorite) in the 1865 Room. Then, as you explored more, there were Dew Drop hot dogs and Moe’s BBQ wings in the next room. In the next room were desserts. Yumm! But

I know the plan behind all that — a good base for all the drinking to come! After mingling and eating, it was time for Dirty Santa. Boozie had the last number, so I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention in the beginning, because I knew the good stuff would be dead by my turn. But some hot items that were stolen until dead were a Bloody Mary kit, Crown Royal, Maker’s Mark, Jameson Irish Whiskey and a bagful of goodies like dirty martini mix, olive oil, gin and catnip. That’s right, that gift was popular because of the catnip, so popular someone even tried to sneak the catnip away in hopes no one would notice. Crazy cat ladies. Some of the more interesting gifts were a houndstooth fedora, a douche bag (with Heroes gift card) and the gift that takes the cake: a bottle of Kinky vodka and a calendar of girls in bikinis holding large fish. Oddly, everyone who ended up with those gifts were happy with them. Boozie got a Red or White gift card and it’s already burning a hole in my pocket! The party ended with drinks and the guys admiring the “fish calendar.” Another great party in the books for Lagniappe! And another Friday where the productivity level hit a new low, but at the same time a new high for most Christmas snacks consumed!

Ho, Ho, Ho

This past Friday night, Santa(s) were not on their best behavior. My spy said she first spotted lots of Santas at Veet’s. Turns out they were pre-gaming for for the 130th annual Santa Claus Society ball at the Convention Center. The girls of the Mardi Gras all made their entrance with who else but Santa Claus. Boozie’s spy reported leading lady Caroline Meacham looked beautiful in a white dress,

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but a few Santas were confused about what was going on. My spy said she heard a few guys asking if someone had gotten married or if the bride got lost. Bless their hearts, they don’t know much. As the ball came to an end, some Santas headed home while others headed back to Veet’s. If you were looking for a free Santa, then you missed your chance. I am sure many of the Santas would have gladly taken a picture with your little rugrat. But then again, these Santas might scare your children. For Boozie, a drunk Santa coming to my house might not be such a bad thing. We’d have a few things in common!

Hayley’s turns 25!

A cold front with driving rain and plunging temperatures didn’t stop the block party at Hayley’s, as one of the city’s best dive bars celebrated its 25th anniversary last Sunday. One attendee said it was a little unusual to see the late-night venue bursting at the seams with customers during the daylight hours on the Lord’s day, as Mobile notables The Vomit Spots and Mob Towne Revival played their sets indoors. Many shots were consumed, as evidenced by the number of disposable shot glasses on the floor. As is the tradition at Hayley’s, when one takes a shot, they toss the plastic cup over their shoulder onto the floor. You know it’s been a good night when you have to shuffle through them to get to the bathroom consistently voted Most Likely to Be Replicated in Hell. Here’s to 25 more!

Guess who’s back, back again

Trump made another spot in Mob-Town over the weekend. So if you thought you saw Santa’s sleigh, I think you were probably seeing the Trump plane. Thousands gathered at Ladd-Peebles Stadium once again to welcome the president-elect to Mobile once again. The Donald said, “This is where it all began,” and from what Boozie has heard this is where it’s all goin’ down. I won’t get on my soap box about any of it, but I will say when I was in high school Azalea Trail Maids were all the good, smart girls. Not sure how some people see them as racist Southern belles. But people gotta complain about something, as if cutting down another poor, innocent tree wasn’t enough. SMH. What happened to the overexcited lady from last time? Why couldn’t she have been there to distract people? Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous or just some plain ol’ Christmas party lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!


LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 | legals@lagniappemobile.com

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Notice is hereby given that the University of South Alabama (Owner) will accept sealed Bids for the following Work: MITCHELL CENTER GUTTER AND DOWNSPOUT MODIFICATIONS FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA, MOBILE, ALABAMA USA PROJECT NO. 16-01 USA BID NO. 6120201 Bids will be received and clocked in at 02:00 p.m. local time January 12, 2017, in Room AD245 of the USA Administration Building, on the Main Campus of the University of South Alabama. Bids will not be accepted after the time indicated herein and will be returned unopened. A cashier’s check or bid bond payable to the University of South Alabama in an amount not less than five (5) percent of the amount of the bid, but in no event more than $10,000 must accompany the bidder’s proposal. Bid Documents shall be available only through the USA Purchasing Office. Contact: University of South Alabama Purchasing Department 307 University Blvd. N, AD 245 (Administration Building) Mobile, AL 36688 PH# (251) 460-6151 FX# (251) 414-8291 (rbrown@southalabama.edu) Bids must be submitted on Proposal Forms furnished in the Bid Documents or copies thereof. The preceding is an abbreviated advertisement. The complete advertisement may be obtained from the location listed above. A Pre-Bid Conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. on December 15, 2016, in Room AD023 of the Administration Building. Those in attendance will include the Owner, Engineer, and Consultants. Contract bidders, subcontractors and suppliers are encouraged to attend. A tour of the Project site is scheduled immediately after the conference. All questions concerning the Project should be submitted in writing to the Project Architect at the address listed below. Goodwyn Mills and Cawood, Architects Jim Walker, AIA 11 North Water Street, Suite 15250 Mobile, AL 36602 PH# (251) 4604006 FX# (251) 460-4423 (jim.walker@gmcnetwork.com) LAGNIAPPE HD December 8, 15, 22, 2016.

INVITATION FOR BIDS Sealed Bids for Architectural Services will be received by Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 451 Government St., Mobile AL 36602, until 2:00 PM January 20, 2017. The project consists of architectural services for rehabilitation and construction of the Innovation PortAL building at 358 St. Louis St., Mobile AL. To request a PDF of the detailed RFP, email info@mobilechamber.com, or the RFP may be obtained at Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, 451 Government St., Mobile AL.
Lagniappe HD Dec. 15, 22, 29, Jan. 12, 2016

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS:  Relating to Mobile County; to amend Act 99-651, 1999 Second Special Session, (Acts 1999 Second Special Session, p. 105), as amended by Act 2010-268 (Acts 2010, p. 488) authorizing government officials to accept credit card payments for amounts due; to clarify that the costs of the office related to the acceptance of credit cards shall include information technology, equipment, and employees, and processing or transactional fees imposed on the transaction by the credit card company or banking institution; and to provide for retroactive effect. LAGNIAPPE HD Dec.15, 22, 29, 2016. Jan. 5, 2017.

STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2017 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS:  Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to amend Section 28-3A17.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to entertainment districts; to further define the licensed premises of a holder of a retail liquor license. LAGNIAPPE HD Dec.15, 22, 29, 2016. Jan. 5, 2017.

PROBATE Notice of Court Proceedings December 9, 2016 Case No. 2014-0994-1 In the Probate Court of Mobile County, Alabama Estate of John Thomas Wagner, Deceased On to-wit the 30th day of January, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 1, Third Floor, Mobile County Government Center Annex, 151 Government Street the court will proceed to consider the Petition for Final Settlement filed by Lauren E. Pederson.  Notice is hereby given to all parties in interest who may appear and contest same or file a proper responsive pleading thereto if they then think proper.     Don Davis, Judge of Probate LAGNIAPPE HD Dec. 22, 29, 2016. Jan. 5, 12, 2017.

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Lagniappe: December 22 - December 28, 2016