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D E C E M B E R 8 , 2 0 1 6 – D E C E M B E R 1 4 , 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

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

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The Alabama Department of Public Health has placed three Mobile-area assisted living facilities on probationary status.


Who is Alabama’s Person of the Year?


Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction Inc. initiated projects or won bids on at least 13 national retail accounts totaling $85 million.



Divinity, also known as divinity fudge, can make your holidays … divine.

KEVIN LEE Associate Editor/Arts Editor ANDY MACDONALD Cuisine Editor




BOTTLE CREEK INDIAN MOUNDS At the center of Mobile-Tensaw Delta lie mounds built centuries ago by Native Americans who made homes there.


BROOKE O’DONNELL Advertising Sales Executive BETH WILLIAMS Advertising Sales Executive ASHLEY KILLIAN Advertising Sales Executive MELISSA EDGE Editorial Assistant ROSS PRITCHARD Distribution Manager



The Mobile Symphony Orchestra will welcome a guest conductor for its Christmas program.


JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager CONTRIBUTORS: Nancy Adams, Asia Frey, Lee Hedgepeth, Brian Holbert, Jo Anne McKnight, Jeff Poor, Ron Sivak, Tom Ward ON THE COVER: Bottle Creek Indian Mounds By Daniel Anderson LAGNIAPPE HD Periodicals Permit #17660 (Volume 2, Issue 11) Copyright 2015 is published weekly, 52 issues a year, by Something Extra Publishing, Inc., 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 (P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652). Business and Editorial Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 Accounting and Circulation Offices: 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Call 251-450-4466 to subscribe. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652 Editorial, advertising and production offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. Mailing address is P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652. Phone: 251-450-4466 Fax: 251-450-4498 Email: LAGNIAPPE HD is printed at Signature Offset, 2610 Lakeview Rd. Hattiesburg, Mississippi. 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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Local country star and philanthropist Carla Williams hosts an annual party to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.


Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes deliver excellent dialogue and great performances in “A Bigger Splash.”


WKRG’s Alan Sealls picked up two Emmy Awards.


Mobile’s Tommy “Moose” Praytor finished at a career-high No. 5 in ARCA racing standings this season.


The Semmes Christmas Tour will highlight seasonal decor in homes, businesses and parks.

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A love that permeates With the Reed family there is always one constant, no matter the situation it is always there permeating any and everything in sight. This constant is love. You would never know how much hardship they face on a daily basis by their attitudes and outlook on life. “Just because we are in this situation and living in a shelter, that gives us no excuse to be bitter and mean,” Alexandria Reed said. “What it does is gives us hope and opportunity, this is blessing.” There was a time when everything was great; Alexandria had a successful job as a truck driver (CDL) and was able to provide for her family. This all changed when she became very ill during her pregnancy with her youngest child. She was no longer able to work due to her illness and ultimately lost her job. When the bills began to pile up and Alexandria was too sick to work, the father left the children and Alexandria to fend for themselves. Pregnant, ill and now homeless, Alexandria and her children had nowhere to go. Every so often a family member or friend would let them stay a few nights, but for about a year Alexandria tucked her children to bed in their car and they called a hospital parking lot their home. “I didn’t like when we were living in the car, it was scary. We would be starving and we couldn’t bathe … I didn’t like seeing my mom sad, when she would cry she always pretended she was not crying,” Alexandria’s oldest daughter said, “That is why I try and help my mom. I just want to make my mom smile.” “I always knew we were going to be OK, it was never a matter of if I can get us through this … I have to get us through this. And sometimes it was really tough to stay positive, and there were nights I felt like I couldn’t do it. I wanted to quit and just give up, but I knew if I quit that we would be split up, and that wasn’t an option. I cried

and prayed and cried and prayed … and God answered those prayers, he brought us here.” Fast forward a year and a half later, and the Reeds are now residents of the Family Haven. Judging by the laughter and smiles, you would never know three months ago they were homeless. “With everything we have been through, as bad as it was and it was really bad, and with everything we are working through now, they have been …. so good, they are just great kids. God has truly blessed me,” Alexandria said, holding back the tears. “And I just want them to be happy … they deserve it.” Things are looking up for the Reeds. Determined to find work, Alexandria continues to apply for every job possible. Her children are excelling in the classroom and were on the honor roll. As they continue to overcome challenges, the Reeds are presented with different hardships. Each day is one step closer to employment, permanent housing, financial stability; each day is one step closer to independence. When the Reeds lost their home they lost everything, all their furniture and cookware, everything Alexandria had worked so hard to provide for her family. As they prepare to make this exciting transition into permanent housing they face a new challenge. Having furnished a home before, Alexandria knows how financially straining it is. “I am a little scared for this next step, excited but a little scared. Once I get a job and can start saving I will feel much better, but I still worry about if my kids will have to sleep on the floor until I can afford to buy beds,” she said. Donations to The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama do the most good for the most people in the most need. Thank you for helping us change lives and save lives. Submitted by the Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama

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Read for more news daily.

Visitor center to move inside history museum

The Visitor Center formerly housed at Fort Conde will reopen on Monday, Dec. 12, at 9 a.m. Its new location is within the Mobile History Museum at 11 S. Royal St., city officials announced Dec. 2.

Arrests made in Delauna Anderson murder

Mobile Police arrested two teenagers in connection with the shooting death of 25-year-old Delauna Anderson, who was found shot to death in her vehicle near the I-10 service road Oct. 18. According to police, Anderson — a single mother — was on her way to work in Mississippi when she was killed during what now appears to have been a failed robbery. In the early hours of Dec. 1, police announced the arrest of Iseral Hall, 16, and Antonio Lang, 18, in connection to Anderson’s death. Hall is being charged with felony murder and unlawful breaking and entering of a vehicle, while Lang faces a capital murder charge.

Baldwin deputies seize 100 pounds of marijuana

Deputies in Baldwin County made a major drug bust Wednesday after a man from Florida began behaving suspiciously during a traffic stop along I-10. According to police, 45-year-old Daniel Oehl of Fort Pierce was being questioned by deputies after the Jeep Liberty he was driving was pulled over. After a probable-cause search, police found approximately 100 pounds of marijuana in at least 72 triple-layered, vacuumsealed packages within luggage Oehl was traveling with. In the passenger-side compartment, officers also found nearly 28 grams of liquefied LSD.


Deficient practices



Photo | Google

urveys conducted by the Alabama Department croft’s residents at all times. However, according to Geary, of Public Health have left three of the seven spethe number of reported deficiencies isn’t as important as ciality care assisted living facilities in Mobile with the nature of those deficiencies. their licenses on a probationary status. “It all depends on professional judgment,” Geary said. As a result, Arbors Specialty Care at Somerby of West “A facility could have 15 deficiencies related to paper reMobile, Gordon Oaks Memory Care Community and cords and we might not put them on probation, but another Elmcroft of Heritage Woods will have a few months to get could have one major issue that leads to an immediate back in compliance or face their licenses being permasuspension of their license.” nently revoked. That happened in 2013, when the Citronelle Assisted “A probational license is usually issued in response to a Living Facility was shut down after a resident walked out bad [inspection]. It’s a downgrade from a regular license,” of the facility and struck his head on a curb. According Dr. Walter Geary, director of health bureau standards for to Geary, staff members were on “a smoke break” at the ADPH, said. “A probational license may only be granted time didn’t notice anything until police responded to 911 for a maximum of one calendar year, which means a team calls from drivers that had noticed the resident lying by the will be back within the year to do a follow-up survey.” roadway. All three of the locations listed above are licensed as “So, yes, we closed them down because that put everySpeciality Care Assisted Living Facilities (SCALFs), one at that facility’s life at risk,” he added. which are supposed to have trained Of the local facilities facing a staff and specific architectural probationary status this year, Gordon features to better care for residents Oaks produced the most deficiencies with cognitive impairments like by far, though it also has more resiAlzheimer’s. dents than all the others combined. However, ADPH found “unmet According to ADPH surveyors, THAT HAPPENED IN 2013, training requirements” in addition “deficient practices” at Gordon Oaks to a number of deficiencies ranging resulted in “actual harm” to one resiWHEN THE CITRONELLE from simple reporting errors to others dent and potential harm for 25 others causing “actual harm.” over the past year. ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY At Arbors, surveyors noted some In April, an “outbreak of nausea, WAS SHUT DOWN AFTER A caregivers were not always attenvomiting and diarrhea” spread to 10 tive to residents with walkers by not residents, 10 employees and resulted RESIDENT WALKED OUT OF “watching and guiding” them around in at least one resident being transobstacles in the facility. One resident ported to the hospital. Yet, despite THE FACILITY AND STRUCK reported 13 falls or incidents that being required to report outbreaks to HIS HEAD ON A CURB. resulted in injury over a 16-month public health officials, ADPH wasn’t period, many of which surveyors informed for 25 days. wrote “could have been avoided with Another incident cited in the reproper supervision, staff intervention port dealt with a resident the Gordon and training.” Oaks staff found unresponsive in an activity room. Instead Another Arbors resident became “so anxious and of receiving CPR immediately, [the resident] was taken emotionally upset” the day after their spouse’s funeral to a room “16 doors away and placed on a bed before they broke a window and then “used blood from an possibly-life-saving CPR” was initiated. injured thumb to write the word ‘Help’ on the window.” “While we can’t say anything the facility did directly A surveyor later noted it had been nearly a day since the resulted in the resident’s death, we can say they did not resident was given anti-anxiety medication physicians had follow the standards of care,” Geary added. “If you find instructed the staff to administer every 12 hours. someone unresponsive, you’re suppose to immediately get Elmcroft had the fewest reported deficiencies, though them on a hard surface and start CPR.” ADPH still found that nurses there had failed to perform Another surveyor found three members of the overnight comprehensive assessments when residents were first staff sleeping in an empty room, which left at least 29 admitted to the facility, and in some cases after significant residents with known cognitive impairments “neglected changes in their health. and unsupervised for unknown periods of time.” A surveyor also observed the nursing staff wasn’t sufThe report claims that put all the residents “at signifificient enough to “meet the safety and care needs” of Elm- cant risk for harm and even death,” and left a number of

CITRONELLE ASSISTED LIVING HAD ITS LICENSE SUSPENDED IN 2013 AFTER A RESIDENT WAS INJURED UNSUPERVISED. residents neglected, such as the two residents who “slept in their clothes and shoes because caregivers had not assisted [them].” While Geary said some of the deficiencies were certainly “not good,” he added that facilities with a probational license have a chance to address their deficiencies. Most facilities in that position, Geary said, hire consultants to help get them in compliance with state health regulations. That seems to be what Gordon Oaks has already done. When Lagniappe contacted administrator Linda Tiffany about this report, her only comment was to say, “We’ve hired a consulting company,” and “I hope you’re not putting this in the newspaper.” The ADPH lists Jessica Keith as the administrator of Arbors Specialty Care and Joel Burdette as Elmcroft’s administrator — neither of whom returned calls seeking input on this report. At this point it’s unclear what corrective actions those facilities have taken. The surveys from all three SCALFs are available at, though if the facilities address those deficiencies their licenses return to a regular status. If there are future violations at these facilities — even those that wouldn’t normally trigger probation — Geary said ADPH would immediately take steps to permanently revoke their licenses. “Everybody knows a [license holder] gets one shot at a probational license, and if surveyors go in after eight months and everything’s fine, they’ll go back to a regular status,” Geary said. “But, if they come back two years later and it’s terrible — even if it doesn’t merit an immediate suspension — we go directly for license revocation. We won’t give them opportunity to put people at risk.”

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Throwing money away



obile’s Solid Waste Authority has lost what will likely be its last appeal of a nearly $6 million verdict against it in the 11th Circuit Court of Ap-

peals. The authority had asked a three-judge panel with the court to review the case on several grounds, including whether the federal court had proper jurisdiction, during oral arguments in Montgomery late last month. The court affirmed the verdict in favor of Waste Management Mobile Bay Environmental Center in an order released Friday, Dec. 2. The authority’s only recourse now would be to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. On the jurisdiction issue, the court found that since the trial attorneys for the authority admitted to proper jurisdiction at that time, it was inappropriate to bring up the issue on appeal. “The authority has offered no reason, much less a compelling reason, why the authority should not be held to that factual admission, especially after a full jury trial and entry of final judgment in the district court,” the order states. In oral arguments, authority attorney Bert Jordan stated that the authority was an arm of the state — not a citizen — and therefore could not be sued. In its order, the court disagreed. “As to the arm of the state issue, we conclude that the authority’s arguments have no basis in the law or the facts relevant to this case,” the order states. “The authority can sue and be sued in its own name. The authority can enter into

contracts, agreements, leases and other instruments as necessary to accomplish its goals … ” Additionally, the court argued the authority is a corporate body and can also acquire and hold real property. “Given the authority’s broad powers and the lack of control over the authority by the State of Alabama, we conclude that the authority is not an arm of the State of Alabama as a matter of law,” the order states. “The authority is thus a citizen for purposes of diversity, and the district court had jurisdiction to decide this case.” Pete Riehm, authority chairman, did not return a call seeking comment for this story, but previously told Lagniappe that the authority has no assets and would likely be forced to pay the lawsuit through 5 percent royalties it receives from Waste Management for use of the Chastang Landfill. Authority in-house attorney Chuck Miller did not return a call seeking comment. One of the issues discussed at the breachof-contract trial was that Waste Management was losing a portion of the waste stream it was entitled to because of the city’s contract with Dirt Inc. for yard debris. Before the appeal was presented to the court, the Mobile City Council extended a one-year contract with Dirt Inc. to continue that service. At the time, Executive Director of Finance Paul Wesch said the move would save the city money. There’s no word yet on how the suit will impact that agreement.

Tapped out



fter five years of hikes that saw the utility’s rates increase 25 percent, the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System is considering a sixth year of increases. Beginning in 2011, MAWSS asked its customers to absorb annual 5 percent rate increases as part of a five-year plan. MAWSS spokeswoman Barbara Shaw confirmed the plan ended in 2016, but the service would again be asking for an additional 5 percent increase at a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. “Last year was the last of the five-year plan,” Shaw said. “The increase is totally for capital needs. Operating needs only went up .6 percent.” The entire amount of MAWSS’ capital needs is not yet known, Shaw said. The utility is in the process of developing a master plan to deal with a variety of capital needs. “We know we need a certain level each year to maintain and keep things going,” she said. Shaw said MAWSS needs to prepare for winter. More capital money, she said, means fewer sewer overflows in the future. “Winter is traditionally among our wetter months,” she said. “Despite the drought, we need to prepare … ” The hearing, which is on the entire MAWSS budget, will take place at the utility’s office at 4725 Moffett Road. The rate hike will raise

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the average residential water and sewer bill, based on 5,000 gallons’ usage, by about $2.60 per month. The minimum bill will increase by $1.30. Administrative fees will not be affected. While MAWSS has proposed the rate hike, some commercial customers in Midtown have been less than pleased with the utility’s response to a leak that is about a month old. Tenants at a shopping center near the intersection of Dauphin and Florida streets said water has been flowing through the property’s parking lot for three to four weeks. They say MAWSS has come to look at it just once, but hasn’t fixed the problem. One tenant said the utility placed gravel in the hole where the leak began, but the tenant still worries that the issue could create a sinkhole. It has blocked some customers from parking and has been an eyesore, another tenant said. Shaw said crews have been stalled on the issue because they need to place a valve in order to shut off the water to one of the businesses. She added that the whole line would then need to be replaced. “It’s a problem with that particular line,” she said. “They’re looking at totally replacing the pipe.” In an email message, Shaw wrote that crews should begin work as early as this week.


Make your move



roposed changes to the reduction-inforce (RIF) policies for Mobile County Public Schools have the area’s largest teachers union urging its members to keep an eye out for potential layoffs, despite the school district’s claims to the contrary. A school board can declare a RIF in cases where extreme circumstances or a financial emergency “requires the reduction of personnel through contract terminations.” When such a situation occurs, factors such as employee tenure do not apply — leaving only the system’s RIF policy to guide decisions about which teachers could be laid off. Currently, MCPSS is considering implementing changes to its RIF policies, and the board has already scheduled two public hearings regarding the proposed changes — at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and on Monday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. However, a proposed change to a section addressing how to proceed when considering more than one tenured employee for dismissal has already caught the attention of the Alabama

non-tenured employees if a RIF ever occurred,” Philips wrote in a statement to local media. “We do review our policies from time to time to make sure they are in compliance with current state law, which is what we are considering doing here.” McDaniel, however, strongly rejected the idea that a five-year-old law was motivating the proposed changes. He went on to accuse MCPSS of trying to “sneak [the new RIF policies] in” by proposing them at the end of the semester and failing to properly inform system employees. “If this was such a critical compliance issue, why’d they wait five years to do it? No, they’re trying to make it easier to eliminate people they don’t like, and that’s all this is about,” McDaniel said. “It also begs the question, ‘Is the school system planning to lay people off?’ That’s what I’d be worried about if I was a bus driver or a teacher — I’d be worried about what’s next.” While Philips said MCPSS has no plans to lay off any employees “at this time,” McDaniel suggested there have already been “clues and indications” from the system suggesting it “would consider eliminating jobs” by outsourcing IF THIS WAS SUCH A CRITICAL certain paraprofessional posiCOMPLIANCE ISSUE, WHY’D THEY tions to a private company. McDaniel was referring to the WAIT FIVE YEARS TO DO IT? NO, THEY’RE Funding Balance Plan MCPSS TRYING TO MAKE IT EASIER TO ELIMINATE submitted to the state in May of this year that contained a number PEOPLE THEY DON’T LIKE, AND THAT’S ALL of “suggestions” of how the school system could rebuild its THIS IS ABOUT. reserve funding to the equivalent of one month’s operational cost Education Association because it would reduce as required by the Alabama State Department of the focus on seniority that has guided layoffs in Education. the past. Though it was listed on the final page under While the seniority of tenured employees “other suggestions,” the funding balance plan would still be considered, the proposed policy does mention as a possible cost-saving measure changes would place more emphasis on an “adjustments to special education personnel” employee’s highly qualified status, certification, that include utilizing a talent management comexperience and their effectiveness (determined pany along with traditional in-house services. in prior performance evaluations). As for the timing of the proposed changes, “Seniority would still be a factor, but they’ve Philips said the only motivation to adjust the moved it all the way to the bottom of the list,” RIF policy now was a recommendation from the AEA Rep. Jesse McDaniel said. “If you ever board’s attorney. She also said the time, date and had to engage this policy, by the time you got location of both of the upcoming public hearthrough those four other factors, you’d have ings would be published on the MCPSS website. already determined who’s going to be laid off.” “Jesse McDaniel knows about the hearings,” Additionally, the proposal would eliminate Philips wrote. “He and anyone from the AEA or all of the factors that were previously considin the public have a right to voice their concerns ered when laying off non-tenured employees, at those hearings.” replacing multiple passages with “non-tenured McDaniel said AEA would have representaemployees do not have any recall or re-employ- tives at both meetings because, according to him, ment rights under this policy.” the organization does not believe a school system However, according to MCPSS spokeswom- should “penalize people for giving more years of an Rena Philips, all of the proposed changes are their lives to public education than others.” only “attempts to bring our policy into compli“It’s damaging to morale, and it’s foolish in ance with current state law,” and specifically an environment where you have a teacher shortwith Alabama’s Students First Act, which took age already. If they go through with this, they’re effect in 2011. going to have a lot of angry career educators,” The Students First Act limited the options McDaniel said. “Plus, If they were to end up for recourse tenured employees have to appeal letting 20-year teachers go while retaining a termination and unilaterally eliminated the freshmen right out of college, I would not be protections afforded those who are non-tenured. surprised if you start seeing some age discrimiWith that in mind, Philips said a recent renation lawsuits popping up.” view prompted MCPSS attorneys to encourage The upcoming public meetings on the proschool board members to “update some things.” posed changes to the RIF policy are scheduled “There is no plan to do a reduction in force at to take place in the MCPSS board room on the this time, and these changes would only affect administrative campus at 1 Magnum Pass.

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Fortified in Fairhope



s the Alabama coast observes the quiet passage of another hurricane season, more homes are being built to better withstand the Next Big One. At last count, 2,635 homes in Alabama now meet the standard of “fortified,” the designation of an Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety program that establishes storm-resistant construction standards. Alabama has by far the largest number of fortified homes in the country, making up 70 percent of the total. The top seven cities, led by Fairhope, are in Baldwin and Mobile counties. Fairhope is No. 1 with 542 total fortified homes. Daphne ranks second with 401, followed by Mobile, Foley, Gulf Shores, Spanish Fort and Semmes. The sizable homeowners and commercial insurance discounts mandated by the state for fortified homes and buildings act as an incentive to spend extra money. A nonprofit organization based in Mobile promotes the standards and stronger building codes in general. The ultimate test — a major hurricane — has not occurred since Katrina in 2005, but the growing number of stronger homes being built along the Gulf Coast suggests the concept is gaining popularity. Mississippi is second to Alabama in state rankings, while Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina have fewer than 200 homes each, according to Graham Green, marketing director of Smart Home America. Fairhope’s building code is so close to the fortified home standards that only a couple of extra steps are needed to get the certification, said Erik Cortinas, the city’s building official. The homeowners insurance discounts are big enough to encourage buyers to seek out fortified homes, which in turn leads builders to provide them. “This is the first time there’s ever been a payoff,” Cortinas said. For example, he recently encountered a new home-

owner who was quoted a premium of $3,400. But when the home was finished and certified as a fortified home, the final premium was $1,100. “It’s kind of created almost a need for the local homebuilders to build a fortified home,” Cortinas said. Single-family residences, duplexes and triplexes are eligible to participate. For homes built in hurricane country, the fortified standards focus on the roof and include how it is sealed, the type of covering, the attic ventilation and the size and type of gables. Doors, windows and other openings must meet impact protection standards, and porches and carports must be attached and anchored to resist uplift. Chimneys and the overall connections, such as walls to floors, also must meet standards. Homes may be awarded gold, silver or bronze designations. Silver and bronze qualifications more frequently apply to renovations of existing homes and especially to new roofs, Cortinas said. Discounts can range from 20 percent to more than half the cost of a hurricane premium, with the lower discounts applying to renovated homes and the higher discounts applying to new construction. The certification is good for five years before a new inspection is required. Giving homeowners legislated incentives to make homes better able to withstand hurricanes was a strategy that grew out of hurricanes Ivan and Katrina in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Insurance premiums for residential and commercial buildings skyrocketed as companies tried to recover losses from the massive damage along the Gulf Coast. Ben Brooks, then a state senator and now a circuit court judge in Mobile County, is credited with leading the push for incentives, along with other members of the coastal delegation in the Legislature. The 2008 recession slowed

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the construction industry, but the numbers of fortified homes now being built in Alabama are drawing attention nationally, according to Green. “The legislation was fantastic. It was passed in 2009. At that time when the legislation passed there were no fortified homes in the state whatsoever,” Green said. Smart Home America was founded in 2009. As with Fairhope, most of the fortified requirements were already part of the stronger building codes enacted after Hurricane Katrina, Green said. “It a combination of buy-in from the building community and elected officials. We had the incentives in place, which is huge,” he said. “You have to have that carrot for our homeowners to make it worth their while. And building codes have improved dramatically, especially since Hurricane Katrina.” Another carrot may be resale value. A few months ago, the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research at the University of Alabama released a study of resale value showing that fortified homes in Baldwin and Mobile counties sold for nearly 7 percent more than homes without the certification. Coastal residents and elected officials have long argued that the rest of the state is just as likely to suffer severe wind damage from tornadoes as well as hurricanes and tropical storms moving north after landfall, but only the southernmost counties are charged higher premiums. However, a recent expansion of the discounts to the rest of the state is likely to further boost the number of fortified homes. At the end of October, the Alabama Department of Insurance announced that admitted insurance carriers would have to offer discounts north of the coastal zone for both residential and commercial buildings. The change is effective in 2018, with discounts ranging from 10 percent to 60 percent. Because 70 percent of the fortified homes are in Alabama, Smart Home America is starting to receive more inquiries from other states, especially since Hurricane Matthew struck the East Coast of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. “There is quite a bit of interest in North Carolina,” he said. Even Oklahoma, nowhere near a coast, is interested because of the high number of tornadoes. But despite the program’s apparent success, more needs to be done to make insurance affordable for coastal residents who already own homes, said Michelle Kurtz, a Foley resident active in the Homeowners’ Hurricane Insurance Initiative and who was a member of Gov. Robert Bentley’s insurance reform work group. Kurtz said she applauds the fortified homes initiative, particularly as it applies to new construction, but believes well-constructed homes that have withstood previous storms deserve bigger breaks on insurance premiums. “My house was constructed in 1944,” Kurtz said. “It’s gone through all the major hurricanes, and it’s still standing.”


Money talks



District 5 Councilman Joel Daves, who is running for a second term, began with $39,245. Through November, Daves’ balance sits at $74,610.


t least two municipal campaigns have found fundraising success early on in the 2017 election season. According to campaign finance forms, re-election campaigns for Mayor Sandy Stimpson and District 5 Councilman Joel Daves have amassed war chests for next year’s election, although neither has an official opponent yet. Stimpson had raised more than $449,000 through November. “I’m honored to receive the financial support of so many who believe in the work we are doing and the progress we are making for the citizens of Mobile,” Stimpson said in the statement last week. “When you see nearly $450,000 come through the door in just three months of fundraising, it’s humbling and encouraging.” Stimpson’s disclosures for September, October and November include a number of individual donors who chipped in $1,000 to $10,000. The largest individual contributions came from Alicia Stimpson at $10,000, John Crawford Hope III at $5,000, George R. Montgomery at $5,000, Richard Murray III at $5,000, E.M. McGowin Jr. at $5,000, L. Duncan Greenwood at $5,000, Farra M. Alford at $5,000 and Donald F. Williams at $4,500. A number of businesses and political action committees have also contributed to Stimpson’s re-election effort. The largest donations from businesses include: Multifamily Management at $10,000, Rapid Deployment at $5,000, Rogers & Willard at $5,000, Briskman & Binion at $5,000, Fallback Fund at $5,000, Gulf Coast Truck & Equipment Co. at $3,000 and the law firm of Adams & Reese at $2,000. Adams & Reese was one of several firms to which the city gave work over the last two years. The firm billed the city for the secondlargest amount in that timeframe, according to records provided by city legal staff. As previously reported by Lagniappe, Adams & Reese charged the city $458,948 in 2015 and $384,401 in 2016. The only firm to collect more money from the city was Burr & Forman, which employs city attorney Ricardo Woods. PACs contributing the most money to the Stimpson campaign so far include: South Alabamians for Good Government at $100,000, Mobile Auto-PAC at $10,000, Alabama Realtors PAC at $10,000, Good PAC at $5,000, Alabama Builders PAC at $5,000 and the Alabama Power Co. Employees State PAC at $2,500. Stimpson has spent a total of $65,071, ac-

cording to the the reports. No other candidate has officially announced his or her intention to run for mayor in 2017. Former Mayor Sam Jones said months ago he was considering a run, but has not yet made an official announcement or filed campaign paperwork. So far, only reports for Stimpson and Daves have been filed. Only candidates who are officially considered candidates are required by law to file the forms through the probate court’s office. To be considered a candidate, a person must either file qualifying paperwork with the local election official — in this case City Clerk Lisa Lambert — or raise or spend more than $1,000. While Stimpson began the year with a modest $43.26 balance, Daves, who is running for a second term as the District 5 representative, began with $39,245, according to his August 2016 filing. Through November, Daves’ balance sits at $74,610. He has spent a total of $9,754. No candidate has officially challenged Daves either, but he’s preparing for a campaign nonetheless. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Daves said. “It’s best to be prepared.” Daves said he believes the city has made “remarkable progress” in the four years since the current council took office. For instance, he said, the city’s financial condition “completely turned around.” He also mentioned the council’s laser focus on capital infrastructure projects at a time when the city was “at an important juncture in its history.” “You can’t do anything if the city’s finances are in disorder,” Daves said. “You can’t do anything if your city is broken.” Most of Daves’ contributions came from small, individual donations of less than $5,000, according to his September, October and November filings. He did receive one $3,809 donation from the Alabama Realtors PAC. Councilors Fred Richardson, Levon Manzie, John Williams, Bess Rich, C.J. Small and Gina Gregory each said they planned to run for reelection in districts 1, 2, 4 and 7, respectively. Each said they hadn’t yet reached the threshold required to report. Annual reports from each are due in January. Robert Martin has announced he’ll challenge Williams in District 4. No other candidate has officially announced.

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‘DOL is out there’



eaction has been mixed to a federal court’s decision to block a U.S. Department of Labor rule last month that would have extended overtime pay to millions of Americans, as anxious employees and employers wait in limbo. The change would have reduced the number of workers qualified for the “white collar exemption,” which allows employers to bypass overtime pay for salaried employees earning more than $23,660 annually. Had the rule gone into effect on Dec. 1, it would have raised that cap to $47,476. However, a federal judge in Texas who heard legal challenges to the new rule from 21 states determined the unilateral change proposed by the DOL exceeded the agency’s congressional authority. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who joined that legal challenge on behalf of the state, said the new threshold for overtime pay would have had significant effects on smaller businesses and on state and local governments that are already “cash strapped.” After the decision, Strange said the preliminary injunction ensures a number of government agencies “will not be forced to lay off employees or cut vital services” to cover the cost of complying with the new rule. That said, the U.S. Department of Justice has appealed the decision in Texas, claiming the overtime rule was the result of a “comprehensive, inclusive rulemaking process,” and the administration is confident in its legality. Either way, because implementing the changes required larger corporations to get a head start, a handful are moving forward with new policies regardless of what happens in court, and that will affect a number of local

employees. Wal-Mart had already raised salaries for its entrylevel managers to $48,500 in anticipation of the law, and last month the retail giant said it has no plans to reverse course. The same is true for changes made by TJX — the parent company for T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s stores, both of which have locations in Mobile and on the Eastern Shore. “At TJX, we attribute our success primarily to the people we have hired over many years who remain focused on our mission of delivering amazing values to consumers,” a TJX spokeswoman told Lagniappe. “TJX had communicated to impacted associates in advance of the expected effective date of the proposed changes to the Department of Labor’s rules and moved forward as planned in implementing those changes.” Ultimately, what will become of the proposed rule is unknown, though it will most likely not be clear of legal hurdles by the time President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January. In the past, Trump has spoken out against President Barack Obama’s executive rule changes, and in general has supported the type of business groups that were vehemently opposed to the overtime changes. However, just because the rules governing overtime aren’t changing immediately, that doesn’t mean the DOL is going away. According to Maria Harkins, who spent 10 years as a DOL investigator, growth in Mobile and Baldwin counties will continue to put businesses under federal scrutiny — something Harkins has turned into a business herself.

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“I’m trying to get folks to realize the Department of Labor is still out there,” Harkins said. “What I’m trying to do with my company — Compliant Smart Consulting — is make employers aware that, if they come into compliance, they can avoid the hassles of an investigation.” Harkins started her consulting company earlier this year after spending nearly a decade conducting federal wage and hour investigations in Alabama and Mississippi. She left that position in the federal government after she began to feel there weren’t enough protections for well-intentioned employers. Though Harkins said the Fair Labor Standards Act was certainly necessary when President Franklin Roosevelt signed it in 1938, she claims the changes to the law since then have always favored employees, never employers. “I don’t mind both side of of the streets being even, but they’re not,” Harkins said. “The only thing protecting an employer are attorneys that can help if they get in over their heads, but the services I provide can help ensure employers never get to that stage.” Today, Harkins works with private and public employers to bring their business practices into compliance with laws that frequently change and often come with steep fines. In fact, federal fines for labor violations increased significantly in 2016. In June, penalties for “willful violations of minimum wage or overtime provisions” increased from $1,100 to $1,894. Violations of child labor laws, which can be assessed for things like minors using improper equipment, are now penalized with fines of up to $12,080. According to Harkins, for a business to fall under the purview of the DOL, it has to generate at least $500,000 in annual gross receipts or have the equivalent of two full-time employees. Other than ensuring they’re paying the minimum wages set at the federal and state level, Harkins said the most important thing employers can do is keep accurate records of their payroll. “If you’re not keeping accurate records, that’s a violation of the law in and of itself,” Harkins said. “The burden of proof always falls on employers to prove they’re paying employees correctly, and the only way to do that is with those records.” Pointing to a number of recent lawsuits targeting restaurants and bars over illegal tip pools, Harkins said many businesses can fall victim to information they don’t have or grow to a size that triggers different federal regulations. “Just before I left the Department of Labor, I met an employer who’d been in business 30 years and had never been investigated, but he’d been lucky,” Harkins said. “Labor laws have changed a lot over the last five years, and we don’t know what changes will come with a new president.”

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MHB officials as well? The HUD report outlined what appear to be conflicts of interests with Clarke and the hiring of her brother for lucrative contracts. There’s also former MHB Chairman Ball’s connection to apartment complexes built using low-income tax credits. Neither Ball nor his now-employee Sam Jones have had much to say about any of this when we’d tried to call. And nobody else seems particularly interested in asking them about it. I doubt there are many with any knowledge of the situation who would argue the Mobile Housing Board isn’t a big, stinking mess right now. I’m sure some of the new board members are trying to change that, but part of what needs to happen is an opening of the books. Right now there are thousands and thousands of families waiting for help from MHB, but under Vaughn, Ball, Langham and the other members of the previous board, the system has essentially been left to rot. While I’m sure HUD will push for some answers, the department has long overlooked obvious issues at MHB and I personally doubt they’re going to do one bit more than is necessary just to get things back into compliance. But the people of Mobile deserve some answers about what’s been going on all these years. Why have supposedly astute businessmen like Ball, Langham and Vaughn run the housing board into the ground and left many of its properties in a condition that seems befitting a Third World nation? I’m glad we’ve been around long enough to see some of these issues brought further into the light. Now maybe we can get some real answers.


Mobile Personnel Board to make hires. While I’ll admit a Housing Board nonprofit doesn’t have nearly the water cooler cache of video of a guy punching a kangaroo or stories about mini horses being sexually assaulted, it’s been surprisingly lonely on the MHB/MDE beat over the past four years. Maybe that’s one reason Mobile’s Housing Board has enjoyed one failure after another with little scrutiny. Even the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal entity charged with keeping an eye on public housing boards, has been remarkably uninterested in MHB — until recently. A scathing HUD Office of Inspector General report earlier this year blasted MHB and threw an oak tree’s worth of shade on their already shady nonprofit, MDE. Fortunately for the citizens of Mobile — particularly those who depend upon MHB for their shelter — someone in authority is finally looking at our public housing board. Just knowing the report was coming probably had the positive effect of getting some longtime Housing Board members to run for cover and leave the board. This enabled Mayor Sandy Stimpson to finally get a majority of “his” people on MHB after Sam Jones reappointed as many of his old cronies as possible before leaving office. The new board members are starting to ask some of the questions we’ve had for years concerning MDE. At a recent MHB meeting, commission chair Kim Pettway and fellow commissioner Reid Cummings were particularly vocal in questioning how MDE operates and why it appears organizationally to be nothing more than the housing board’s Siamese twin. (Sorry, conjoined twin might be the more politically correct phrase.) The board’s attorney even finally admitted at the last

meeting what has seemed apparent for years — MDE is being used to circumvent the Personnel Board when hiring for the Housing Board. When we first began reporting on MDE, getting information wasn’t particularly easy. MHB/MDE Director Dwayne Vaughn hadn’t filed much of the paperwork that was required to be submitted by nonprofits and MDE actually lost its nonprofit status for a while. Vaughn was able to get MDE reinstated and also designated as an entity that didn’t have to submit an annual public accounting of its finances, so he’s been quite successful in keeping a lot of the nonprofit’s finances away from prying eyes. MDE’s board was made up of just Vaughn, longtime MHB President Clarence Ball and fellow board quasi-lifer Donald Langham, and they allegedly met only once a year concerning the nonprofit. When I first called Langham way back then to talk about it, he didn’t even recognize MDE’s name. I essentially had to remind him about this supposedly vital nonprofit arm of the Housing Board. Fortunately both Ball and Langham have left the building. Hopefully now there’s an opportunity to really examine what’s been going on behind the scenes at the Housing Board. Maybe some simple questions will finally be answered, like how Adline Clarke is actually paid so it can be determined whether the good state rep. is double dipping or not. Some tougher questions need to be answered as well. It would be interesting to see if current or former elected city officials have Section 8 properties that are overseen by MHB. What about current or former

Cartoon/Laura Rasmussen


aybe things just move slowly around here. Or perhaps people just don’t have the guts to do anything about obviously messed up issues until they become too dire to be ignored. Either way, I’m thankful the layers of crud at the Mobile Housing Board are finally starting to be power-washed away for a long-needed examination. For as long as this newspaper has been publishing — 14 years now — I’ve been getting calls pointing to MHB as this city’s center of corruption and government waste. And while most of the harshest allegations have been tough to prove, we’ve dug around enough over the years to get a pretty good idea that something’s rotten in the state of the Hank Aaron Loop. This has seemed particularly true of the Housing Board’s nonprofit entity, Mobile Development Enterprises. Just about four years ago Lagniappe started digging into MDE and reported on what an unusual entity it appeared to be. We first took notice of MDE primarily because of complaints that Adline Clarke, who was running for state representative at the time, might be using the nonprofit as a way to circumvent the Hatch Act so she could “double dip” from the public trough. Well, Rep. Clarke was given the Hatch Act all-clear before the election, but it was still hard not to notice that this supposedly separate entity for all intents and purposes existed as a way to shield MHB from having to use the



Who is Alabama’s Person of the Year?


ASHLEY TRICE/EDITOR/ASHLEYTOLAND@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM y the time you read this column, Time Magazine will have named their “Person of the Year.” Since the magazine will not make that announcement before press time, I have no idea who it will be, but of course, Donald Trump is the odds-on favorite. Other members on the shortlist include a variety of political leaders, business people, entertainers and athletes, like Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Brexit engineer Nigel Farage and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, among others. They have also included two “groups” among the finalists: The Flint Whistleblowers, who drew national attention to the water crisis in Michigan, and the CRISPR Scientists, who developed technology that can edit DNA, which could potentially prevent mutations that cause incurable diseases (They get my vote! #ilovenerds). Though they didn’t have any this year, they have also had objects or machines as nominees, like the personal computer, which took home the honor in 1982. And the magazine also likes to remind people that sometimes their choices are people who have influenced the world for better OR for worse. Hitler took home the distinction in 1938. Yikes! These things are always fun to contemplate (well, except the Hitler one) and also very subjective. But it did make me start to wonder who would make the Alabama shortlist for 2016. Here are a few ideas, though I am sure there are many more deserving “characters.” Our People: Gov. Robert Bentley Just when you thought our state didn’t have enough things to be embarrassed about, our lovesick, septuagenarian governor certainly gave us a brand new and oh-so-salacious scandal to be even more mortified by this year. A day after former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier was fired from the agency for alleged financial mismanagement, he spilled the beans on his former boss’s affair with his senior aide, Rebekah Mason. After hearing sordid tales of boobie grabbing and secret shipments of Viagra to the governor’s mansion (ick!), not to mention sweet paying gigs using “dark money” for Mason and her husband, one would think Gov. Bentley would be on the fast track to the Impeachment Bowl. But since it’s Alabama, the only one going to a bowl with Peach in it any time soon will be the Crimson Tide. Meanwhile, the Luv Guv will likely be picking our next United States senator if Sen. Jeff Sessions is confirmed as the nation’s next attorney general as expected. That seems about right. U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions The senator who is leaving the seat Gov. Hornydog Stickybritches III will most likely get to appoint also played a prominent role in the national political landscape this year, for better or for worse, depending on your political leaning. Though his endorsement would not come for a few more months, as he stood on a stage in LaddPeebles Stadium in August 2015 and welcomed Trump to his “hometown of Mobile, Alabama,” Sen. Sessions became one of the first more mainstream Republicans to lend some credibility to a campaign that had been widely mocked. Could this pay off for Mobile and ‘Bama (even if you hate Trump)? Let’s hope so. And all late night “presidential Tweets” point to yes. Since Trump Tweet-shamed Boeing for costs being out of control on a new fleet of Air Force One planes to the tune of $4 billion, one has to wonder if Sessions whispered to his political BFF that we like to give Boeing the finger around here in his hometown, with a side of Foo sauce, of

course. I am sure we can build that fleet right here in Mobile for like $3 billion, easy! Tell him, Jeff! I am sure you remember how dirty they played in the tanker contest. This is just my fake news, aerospace conspiracy theory because I am part of the dishonest media. Don’t take me or the president-elect literally. But for realz, Mr. President-Elect, “we” really could probably cut you a sweet deal on those planes. Just Tweet Airbus America @AirbusInTheUS and they will fix you right up. Nick Saban Love him or hate him, year after year the man continues to recruit coaching staff and players who can and usually do win national championships. In a state where we are always almost last in every list you want to be first in and first on almost every list you want to be last in, it is nice to be able to take home the gold in something desirable, or yes, even a crystal trophy that goes on a statewide tour of Wal-Marts. But hey, we’ll take it. Our Groups: The Alabama “whistleblowers:” Spencer Collier, Dianne Bentley and Wendell Ray Lewis While none of them actually fit the technical definition of a “whistleblower,” they certainly helped paint the picture of all the straight-up crazy that was going on between our governor and the First Mistress. Spencer Collier was the first one to put his brush on this lecherous canvas of gubernatorial sexual misconduct. And his former security chief, Wendell Ray Lewis, just joined the paint party to add even more pathetic details to this already-pathetic story (“Will you break up with my girlfriend for me?” or my personal favorite, “Cut it off at the nub!”). But it was former First Lady Dianne Bentley who provided the most damning and embarrassing piece of evidence against the husband who betrayed her by capturing the now infamous booby talk recording. (She is high on my short shortlist, as she is pretty badass!) “When I stand behind you and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on you and pull you in real close, hey, I love that, too,” the Lovernor said to his lover, as his wife’s iPhone recorded. (I had to re-quote that one more time. I couldn’t help myself. Sorry! Not sorry!) Though there is supposedly an investigation into this by the Alabama AG, it is still not certain if Bentley will ever have to answer for using taxpayers’ money to cover up his affair, but if it does happen, these folks will all be major players in it. Music to our ears On a positive note, so to speak, it has also been nice to see Alabama musicians doing so well at the Grammys. It seems like just yesterday The Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell and St. Paul and the Broken Bones were making stops at Callaghan’s. Now they are winning Grammys and selling out the Ryman. Perhaps all of the aforementioned crazy that happens in our state is what produces such great artistry and lyricism. Yeah, we will go with that! Our objects: Flying high It’s not a bird! It’s not superman! No, it’s a plane! No, really, the Airbus A320 family jetliner, to be more specific. We saw the first aircraft roll off the Mobile, Alabama, assembly line in April and they have been steadily delivering these aircraft to carriers such as JetBlue, American and most recently Delta. This has most certainly already been transformative to our city and our state and will continue to be. I am sure I have left out some well-deserving “characters” who should be on this list. Feel free to add on and talk amongst yourselves. D e c e m b e r 8 , 2 0 1 6 - D e c e m b e r 1 4 , 2 0 1 6 | L AG N I A P P E | 13




hen news of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s admittedly inappropriate relationship with Rebekah Caldwell Mason first surfaced, Mason and her husband made sweeping moves to protect their financial and legal interests. Having made thousands of dollars from both the state and from Bentley’s “dark money” nonprofit set up by the governor’s former legal advisor, Rebekah and Jon Mason voluntarily disclosed some income information to the public, even retroactively reporting income from the University of Alabama to the State Ethics Commission. At the time, Rebekah Mason issued a statement patting herself and her husband on their backs for what she essentially characterized as an act of complete and utter transparency. “I have disclosed every dime [my company] has received since its incorporation in 2013,” Mason said, “including fees paid to the company by a nonprofit which is not even required to disclose that information. If there’s a perception this is ‘dark money,’ I believe my disclosure flips the light switch on.” No such luck. Mason’s disclosures brought up even more questions about the dubious doings of the Bentley administration, and we’re still finding out the answers. When the Masons released those records, they weren’t flipping on a light switch: they were barely switching on a flashlight. Details from a newly filed lawsuit aimed at the governor, though, aren’t just turning on a light. They’re flipping on the floodlights. The lawsuit, which was detailed in part in a previous Montgomery Minute, was filed last month by Wendell Ray Lewis, Bentley’s former protective detail and so-called “body man.” It alleges that Lewis’ early retirement was a

consequence of the fallout of Bentley’s affair with Mason, who he said had the ultimate power. “Whatever people may say, Rebekah Mason was the governor of Alabama,” Lewis claims in the lawsuit. “People could talk to the governor, but whatever Rebekah said went … You could tell Rebekah was power-hungry.” Power wasn’t the only thing on the Masons’ minds. The lawsuit also clarifies an arrangement where Bentley aimed to shift staff salaries away from the governor’s office budget to appear more fiscally conservative. “On Aug. 14, 2014, Spencer Collier [former head of state law enforcement] informed Lewis that the governor

POWER WASN’T THE ONLY THING ON THE MASONS’ MINDS. THE LAWSUIT ALSO CLARIFIES AN ARRANGEMENT WHERE BENTLEY AIMED TO SHIFT STAFF SALARIES AWAY FROM THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE BUDGET TO APPEAR MORE FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE.” had Collier moving money around to pay for an assistant to Chief of Staff Seth Hammett, Jon Barganier, to the tune of $111,000; the assistant in the Medicaid program, Stephanie Azar, to the tune of $150,000; and David Byrne, the governor’s legal advisor, to the tune of $170,000. Collier moved this money around to cover those salaries so that the governor could hide their salaries and, therefore,

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in the campaign, look fiscally responsible. According to Collier, those monies were federal funds and came from the Department of Homeland Security. Collier was concerned about it, and had some local police departments concerned that they were not getting federal funds.” Indeed, during the years in question, the governor’s budget dropped from just over $2 million to just under $1.2 million, a decrease that could be entirely accounted for by the shifting of salaries like those mentioned in the lawsuit. But there’s even more. According to the suit, politicos from Montgomery were cropping up left and right to help the governor get his alleged mistress off of the state payrolls. “On one occasion,” the lawsuit says, “Dr. Henry Mabry, then the executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, said he could get Mason paid to the tune of $150,000. Paul Bentley told Lewis that Cooper Shattuck, the governor’s former legal advisor, set up the 501(c)(4) for Mason … Hammett told Lewis he had a conversation with the governor in which Hammett informed [Bentley] that because of the governor’s relationship with Mrs. Mason, Mason could not be on the state payroll, therefore the need for the 501(c)(4).” Bentley’s political posse got their wish, and Rebekah Mason received her last taxpayer-funded salary of $66,000 in 2012. Her newly shifted salary added to Bentley’s “budget-friendly” façade, and budgets continued to drop for the office over time. Meanwhile, one budget line item under the governor’s office increased: that of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service, headed by none other than Jon Mason. In 2013, the office, also known as Serve Alabama, was budgeted only $30,811. The next year, the governor requested $147,912 for Serve Alabama, a fourfold increase during a time when the governor’s office budget “dropped” by nearly half a million dollars. It’s not just what’s already happened that’s concerning when it comes to Bentley’s involvement with the Masons. Recently asked whether he’d rehired Rebekah Mason, Gov. Bentley said he could hire whoever he wanted; his office later clarified she is indeed not headed back to the state payrolls. And when it comes to Jon Mason, he appears to still be serving as executive director of Serve Alabama, an essentially Cabinet-level position paying $91,000 annually — although he hasn’t received a paycheck since September, according to records from Open Alabama. And on top of it all, Bentley and the Masons’ actions may still be affecting other individuals. Cooper Shattuck, who was hired to Bentley’s staff the same day as Rebekah Mason and set up the “dark money” group that paid her, recently resigned as the University of Alabama’s top lawyer. Shattuck says it’s because he’s served, and he’s ready for private practice. I say maybe UA didn’t like Lewis’ lawsuit. Sometimes those floodlights are bright, but hey, at least we can see what’s happening.




resident-elect Donald Trump got a head start implementing his economic policy last week when he intervened to save jobs at a Carrier facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, Trump offered Carrier generous incentives to keep at least 800 in the United States. The early estimates have Indiana providing United Technologies Corp., the parent company of Carrier, $7 million in tax breaks over the next 10 years, which comes to about $7,000 per job. As expected, Trump supporters heralded the deal while critics — both on the right and the left — picked the plan apart. Those on the left blasted Trump for cronyism and not saving enough jobs. Those on the right hit Trump for his apparent departure from laissez-faire, freemarket principles by using the power of government to influence economic decisions. Away from the ideology-based criticism and from a purely cost-benefit perspective, Trump’s plan seems reasonable. Seven-million dollars is not chump change, but over 10 years, given the economic activity created by those “saved” jobs — not to mention savings from keeping the would-be laid-off from needing unemployment

hand — they are often fond of pointing to the sob story. For example, they show the poor person who now has health care coverage because of Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law. He may have lost control of Congress because of it, but some of the country’s poorest people have health care now. That is certainly an honorable endeavor — health care for the poor! But if you are the average blue-collar American and you compare a big government program that in actuality makes our health care system progressive like our tax code to people keeping the real jobs they have had for decades from being outsourced, that voter is likely to side with the one saving the jobs.  In the run-up to the 2012 election, Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, made a rallying cry out of bin Laden being dead and General Motors being alive. That worked in 2012.  If you look back at the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton never seemed to be willing to tout Obama’s economic policies in that way. Instead, it was more about penalizing those at the top and making things “fairer.” That was to her detriment in the states she should have won THROUGHOUT THE OBAMA — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.  PRESIDENCY, WE HAVE BEEN It is the big disconnect the modern Democratic Party has TOLD THE ECONOMY IS GETTING to overcome to win those states. BETTER … HOWEVER, FOR A LOT OF Many — particularly workingclass Americans — do not want AMERICANS, THESE MARKERS OF a handout or WPA New Deal-era type job, they want to keep or PROSPERITY DO NOT RESONATE. get a stable job that has a built-in incentive of advancement. If you stay here for x amount of years, and other safety-net benefits — is likely a net you will get have benefits in place like health benefit for the taxpayer. insurance and retirement. Keep in mind, this deal took place before Trump’s Carrier deal was laden with showTrump was even sworn into office, and these manship. Given he was able to pull that off prior types of gestures matter.  to his inauguration is its own storyline. But what Throughout the Obama presidency, we if he is able to promote these sorts of economic have been told the economy is getting betdeals throughout his first four years?  ter. Government statistics seemed to prove it. Think of it — a thousand jobs here or there, Obama’s Labor Department says unemployment in the right the places.  is at its lowest level since 2007. His ComIn 2000, Vanity Fair closed facilities in merce Department tells us growth is picking up Jackson, Monroeville and Atmore. Thousands because GDP expanded over the last quarter at of people lost their jobs in southwest Alabama 3.2 percent. And the stock market has soared to because the company opened facilities throughrecord highs.  out Latin America. However, for a lot of Americans, these Keep in mind, it is not cheap to create new markers of prosperity do not resonate. Despite manufacturing facilities in developing nations, what the government might say about an but Vanity Fair did it. And those facilities led to improved economy, a lot of people just do not an exodus of jobs out of Alabama. Did NAFTA see the proof in their pocketbooks and personal make it too easy? Many in Monroe and Escambottom lines.  bia counties think so.  Trump’s Carrier deal, albeit only 800 jobs, In 1993, Congress approved NAFTA. Sens. is tangible evidence that he’s keeping jobs in Howell Heflin, D-Alabama, and Richard Shelby, the U.S. Just weeks before Christmas, actual D-Alabama, voted against it. Alabama’s first employees of Carrier who heard they were keep- congressional district congressman, then-Rep. ing their jobs were paraded out in the media, Sonny Callahan, R-Alabama, voted for it. generating tons of publicity. What if there had been a President Trump at People will remember this. These types of the time? NAFTA wouldn’t have happened. signals will have an impact on Trump’s approval Companies are free to go as they please, but rating. Should he continue to “save” these jobs, why make it easy for them? Why not give them those efforts will make their way into our public a reason to think twice before they pick up and consciousness. move? That is what you are likely to see with And here is how Democrats overplay their Trump economics.

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n the past 12 months, Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction Inc. initiated projects or won bids on at least 13 national retail accounts across the southern United States totaling $85 million, according to a news release. While much of the new retail work is taking place outside of coastal Alabama, it includes such prominent clients as Academy Sports + Outdoors, Dave & Buster’s, The Home Depot, The Fresh Market and Nordstrom Rack. The projects span much of the southeast region, encompassing Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina. “We have enjoyed working with White-Spunner Construction on various furniture showroom projects in multiple states over the past several years and have been pleased with their performance on these challenging retail projects,” said Harmon H. Jones, senior vice president of construction for Rooms To Go. “They also completed an 875,000-square-foot distribution center for us on schedule and within our budget in Pearl River, Louisiana. This was a huge undertaking, requiring movement of more than half a million cubic yards of dirt for the 62-acre site,” Jones said. “The WhiteSpunner team worked with us every step of the way, offering and implementing realistic solutions when challenges came up. We look forward to more opportunities to work together in the future.” White-Spunner Construction has completed thousands of national retail projects in at least 27 states since 1981, providing general contracting and construction management services to a variety of clients, including many Fortune 500 companies such as Lowe’s, Publix and Target. In 35 years, the company has completed more than $2.4 billion in total construction value, building an average annual volume of $73.5 million in projects during the last five years.

According to White-Spunner Construction vice president Chris Carruth, completing projects on time and within a set budget is crucial in retail construction. “Every day a store is late to open affects its bottom line,” Carruth said. “There’s a saying, ‘It doesn’t rain on retail sites.’ Construction can be complex and the process is often challenging.” White-Spunner Construction also been repeatedly recognized for its excellent safety record, recording 2.45 million man-hours without a lost-time incident. In 2016, the Associated Builders and Contractors awarded the company its “Safest in the Industry Gold Award” and “Platinum Level STEP Award.” 

Delta Air Lines receives first U.S.-made Airbus aircraft Last Friday Airbus delivered a new A321 from its Mobile-based facility. Executives and staff from both Delta Air Lines and Airbus assembled for a symbolic handover ceremony. In addition to being the first A321 built on American soil for Delta — the world’s second-largest carrier in both revenue and capacity — it is also the 14th jet added to the Atlanta, Georgia-based airline’s fleet. Delta brought a team of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based employees to accept the aircraft, which will travel to the Twin Cities to be prepped for its first long-haul passenger flights in about three weeks. According to Daryl Taylor, Airbus vice president and general manager of Airbus in Mobile, the Brookley facility is targeting a production rate of four per month by the start of 2017. “It goes to show the progress we’re making toward being fully operational,” he said. Greg May Sr., Delta’s senior vice president, remarked that Mobile’s fairly close proximity to Atlanta in the southeastern region will probably help facilitate a closer relationship with Airbus in North America. To date, the carrier has more than 80 Airbus A321s on backorder.

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Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance hires new manager

The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance recently announced the hire of Alex Doleac as project manager. Doleac will direct a range of business recruitment projects aimed at driving economic growth within the county. For the past year, Doleac has served as project manager for the economic development team at the area development partnership in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As part of his graduate studies, he also interned with the West Florida Economic Development Alliance in Pensacola, Florida. “The Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance has a longstanding reputation for facilitating immense growth,” Doleac said. “Over the past decade, the growth in population alone validates the momentum already in motion here in Baldwin County.” BCEDA, based in Robertsdale, is a partnership of local public and private professionals, leaders and officials providing opportunities for businesses and improving the county’s economy. It is funded and supported by the county government, 14 municipalities, five Chambers of Commerce, eight Industrial Development Boards and more than 100 privately owned businesses. For more information, visit its website.

California-based skin-care product has local roots

The Better Skin Co., creators of Better Skin Mirakle Cream, was founded in 2015 by Murphy D. Bishop from the Mobile area and Natalya Rachkova, originally from Uzbekistan but now living in Seattle, Washington.   Bishop grew up in Grand Bay, attended Faulkner State Community College and subsequently transferred to Birmingham Southern College where he completed a bachelor’s degree in public relations. Bishop has more than 20 years’ experience in the beauty industry. He began his career at Estée Lauder before moving to Bobbi Brown, where he worked closely with the core management team. He went on to work for Victoria’s Secret Beauty, as a national sales manager for Bare Escentuals and then for Molton Brown. Bishop most recently spent time as the general manager of Los Angeles, California-based boutique cosmetic firm Jouer and currently serves as CEO and owner of Bleu Brand Development. In 2013, Rachkova met Bishop, who utilized his established industry contacts to move her product to the U.S. market. “Business has recently exploded and we have become a global brand, shipping to over 10 countries. In 2017 sales are projected to pass the seven-figure mark,” Bishop said. “We now have a 40-plus door footprint national retailer opening early next year to drive sales on Dermstore, Evine and Urban Outfitters. Currently we are self-funded but are open to investment opportunities.” Bishop will be back in Mobile next week to promote his product. For more information about Better Skin Mirakle Cream visit the brand’s website.

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


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


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

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


211 Dauphin St. • 690-7482


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



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


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



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

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


3758 Dauphin Island Pkwy. • 473-1401


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





216 St Francis St. • 421-2022

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


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




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



3964 Gov’t Blvd. • 378-8083

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


9091 US-90 Irvington • 957-1414



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

7 SPICE ($-$$)


CORNER 251 ($-$$)




DAUPHIN’S ($$-$$$)


AUTHENTIC SUB SANDWICHES 7449 Airport Blvd • 375-1820




FIVE ($$)

CAFE 219 ($)

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




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


HOME COOKING. 4054 Government St. • 665-4557


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


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


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


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

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




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


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

DELI FOODS, PASTRIES & SPECIALTY DRINKS. 4072 Old Shell Rd. • 304-0448

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


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


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

THE HOUSE ($-$$)






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


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


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



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


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


195 S University Suite H • 662-1829


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

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


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

SERVING LOCAL SEAFOOD & PRODUCE 167 Dauphin St. • 458-9573 GREAT FOOD AND COCKTAILS 609 Dauphin St. • 308-3105

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

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

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

3011 Springhill Ave. • 476-2232



6358 Cottage Hill Rd. • 725-6917




2550 Dauphin Island Pkwy S. • 307-5328


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

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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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

PDQ ($)

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

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


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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



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

BAMBOO FUSION ($$) 2400 Airport Blvd. • 307-5535


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






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

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


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


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


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


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

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



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

ZEA’S ($$)







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


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





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

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

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

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

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



CHICAGO STYLE EATERY 1222 Hillcrest Rd. • 461-6599

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

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

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


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

NOJA ($$-$$$)


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

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

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

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

MAMA’S ($)




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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Sushi Bar. 650 Cody Rd. S • 300-8383


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

LULU’S ($$)


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

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

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


RALPH & KACOO’S ($-$$)

CHARM ($-$$)

R&R SEAFOOD ($-$$)





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

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


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

HIBACHI 1 ($-$$)

2370 Hillcrest Rd. Unit B • 380-6062


THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT! 1595 Battleship Pkwy • 626-0045

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

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

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

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


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

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




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


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

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


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

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

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

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


1715 Main St. • 375-0543

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


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

OLD 27 GRILL ($)

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


AZTECAS ($-$$)

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



ZANDER’Z ($-$$)


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

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


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

GUIDO’S ($$)

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


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


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


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

BURGERS, DOGS & 27 BEERS & WINES. 19992 Hwy.181 Old County Rd. Fairhope • 281-2663 IRISH PUB FARE & MORE. 3692 Airport Blvd • 414-3000


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

TASTE OF MEXICO 5452 Hwy 90 W • 661-5509

BR PRIME ($$-$$$)




JIA ($-$$)




MOUTH WATERING MEXICAN FOOD 1175 Battleship Pkwy • 625-2722


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






FUEGO ($-$$)


AUTHENTIC ITALIAN DISHES 312 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope • 990-5535 PIZZA, PASTA, SALAD & MORE 102 N. Section St. • 929-2525

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

ROMA CAFE ($-$$)

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


Springdale Mall 3250 Airport Blvd. • 450-4556


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

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



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


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


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

777 Beach Blvd.Biloxi • 877-877-6256

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




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



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




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

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


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



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




TIEN ($-$$)


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Get an early start on holiday treatmaking with divinity BY ANDY MACDONALD/CUISINE EDITOR | FATMANSQUEEZE@COMCAST.NET

Photo |


got the tree. We are creatures of habit, a houseful of nontraditional traditionalists. Our tree tradition is for all of us to put on Batman T-shirts and drive the family truckster to Lowe’s, where they cut a fresh surface on the trunk and net the tree free of charge. This year we took two borrowed dogs, Brinley and Olive. The other part of this tradition that is older than my son is to pay for the tree and then ask the cashier, “Can I get a bag for this?” Once I’m out of the store I take more twine than I would need for securing the blue spruce or Frasier fir to the luggage rack and use it throughout the year for various emergencies. We also must wait for a cold snap. What good is getting a tree if you can’t have hot chocolate (I swear to God, if you call it hot cocoa I may lose it) afterward? So it’s been a roller

FOR THANKSGIVING THIS YEAR MY MOTHER, KHAKI, WENT ALL OUT. WE HAD OUR USUAL SPREAD, ALL OF MY FAVORITES, BUT SHE FINISHED THE MEAL WITH A FANTASTIC BATCH OF PRALINES. ” coaster of temps, with air conditioning in the afternoons and central heat at night. Kind of a dodgy season, but at least we’re getting some rain. At any rate, the thermometer should fall tonight and lighten my humbugs so I can get on with the business of decorating and starting my holiday treat projects. I’m not much of a baker, nor am I an artist, so my presentation is often lacking. But when I get into cooking something I love, I will work hard until I get it right. For Thanksgiving this year my mother, Khaki, went all out. We had our usual spread, all of my favorites, but she finished the meal with a fantastic batch of pralines. It’s not something she does with any regularity. It seems as though I remember her making them when I was a kid, but they don’t hold a

Divinity is a nougat-like confection made with egg whites, corn syrup and sugar. Optional ingredients such as flavors, chopped dried fruit and chopped nuts are frequently added. grasp on my recent memory. Whatever the case, she nailed it. She gets more amazing every year with her cooking, but she excels at sweets. Maybe it’s because she has such a sweet tooth herself. A praline is one of the many great things about living in the South. Here we are, in the most humid part of the country, and our culture mastered the confection that requires low humidity. Gee, ain’t it funny how that worked out. But there is another treat that requires one to pay close attention to the weather forecast, and that is divinity. I do recall divinity being a key part of Khaki’s buffet table of candies and desserts. I can close my eyes and see it. Stark white and gorgeous, next to haystacks, Texas Trash, white trash, magic cookie bars and maybe a pie or two, the divinity looked almost unreal. I remember some guests not knowing what divinity was, thinking maybe it was just decoration. That porcelain look, the frailty of it, added a needed dose of elegance next to a bowl of what amounted to nothing more than cereal cooked in butter and Worcestershire. It was a balance between refinement and blue-collar practicality. Let me tell you, I more than anyone need both of those things in my life. So this year, since I am so rough around the edges, I’d like to focus on making the best divinity I can. With pecans, without pecans, I’ll be making batches of it, hoping to add an injection of refinement into my day-to-day routine. Here is a base recipe that I have come up with through researching several.


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2 cups sugar ½ cup water ½ cup light corn syrup 2 egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¾ cup chopped pecans

Before you fire up the stove, it is a good idea to prepare your workspace. You’ll need cooking racks lined with parchment paper. You’ll need a hand mixer or a decent stand mixer and a good-size bowl set up, preferably not near the stove. A candy thermometer may be the most important part of this. Over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, heat the sugar, water and corn syrup, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once it reaches a temperature of 250 F., you are at hard-ball stage. At this point, if you dropped a bit into cool water the sugar will form a sticky ball that will retain its shape when pressed. If it flattens when you remove it from the water, you are at the softball stage and not hot enough. If it forms threads, then you are too hot at the soft-crack stage. In the meantime, beat the egg whites in a large bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. You have to keep an eye on that candy thermometer while you do this. We don’t want to reach 260 F. for our syrup. Once you have your peaks and your syrup is at 250 F., reduce your speed to medium and slowly pour the hot syrup mixture in a small but steady stream into the egg whites. Be careful to not cook the eggs, and keep that mixer going. Add the vanilla and keep beating until the mixture holds its shape. It may take up to 10 minutes of mixer time, but once it begins to hold its shape you may add the pecans. After the pecans are incorporated, rapidly drop by the spoonful (for best results use a greased spoon) onto parchment paper and cool for at least 12 hours. As I mentioned, this works best when the humidity is low, so make sure the weather works in your favor. I have read that some people make divinity in humid times by adding a little less water to the syrup. The whole process isn’t that complicated but it does require your undivided attention. If you have any divinity tips send them my way. I’d love to hear about them. For now, let’s haul out the holly and decorate this tree. Christmas is here.

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Cammie’s Old Dutch being served at Food Champs

‘Tis the season for ice cream, and the latest buzz is that Cammie’s Old Dutch is now being served in an ice cream parlor in a grocery store! Locally owned Food Champs at 2962 Dauphin Island Parkway has opened its own little ice cream shop serving Cammie’s in the supermarket, so shoppers can slurp down a scoop or two while they peruse the aisles of value. Of course the Food Champs staff came by the corner of Old Shell and Florida for some training. Currently there are no tables and chairs, but it is rumored they’re coming. Hopefully this means we can lounge with a sundae or vanilla malt while our significant

lowed me sample tastings of the brews I was interested in. Despite having only six choices, I was impressed that microbrews from Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi were available. I purchased a 32-ounce growler for $4.90, and the beer was $5.47. I asked how often they change the menu, and the manager said it just depends when they run out — sometimes they replace it with the same beer, but more often they choose something new. Incidentally, the Foley Piggly Wiggly had five different beers on tap, so you can get some variety just by hitting a different Pig. Asheville, North Carolina, has become a mecca of craft brewing over the past decade or so, with 17 breweries in a city of just over 80,000 people, so (after tasting) I chose a Brown Bear from the Catawba Brewing Company, which I had never heard of before. The brown ale was excellent, very dark, almost like a stout, with chocolate and coffee flavors. Encouraged by my new find, I sought to find out more about Catawba, and to see if there were more varieties available in our area. Cottage Hill Package Store had a different Catawba on tap, so on my next visit out to West Mobile I stopped in and filled a growler with a Firewater IPA. Again, I was not disappointed, as the traditional IPA was tasty, with good hoppy flavor, but not overpowering. I will get it again soon. Growlers are great ways to experiment with new beers, so this holiday season, forget the fruitcake and bring a growler of fresh beer to the party; your host will thank you for it.

others check off the grocery list. Take a look at for weekly ads, coupons, food tips and recipes. As for Old Dutch, the latest holiday flavors are in and I’ve already had a bite. Pumpkin, brown sugar, Snickerdoodle, bread pudding and eggnog should get you in the spirit, but hands-down the best new holiday ice cream is gingerbread. Little bits of gingerbread in every bite make this one a favorite.

Crawfish are back at Mudbugs at the Loop!

The months when crawfish are out of season are miserable around my house. Even my children tear up after the last batch of the summer are pinched and sucked. We rarely

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Photo | Facebook

s holiday party time approaches, consider arriving with something more creative than the standard six-pack or bottle of wine, such as a local microbrew, a regional favorite or perhaps something no one has heard of before. One of the best ways to do this is with a growler, a reusable 32- or 64-ounce jug for buying draft beer to take off-site. Mostly associated with microbreweries, growers allow patrons to partake of their favorite beers — many of which are not available in bottles or cans — at home. They also can make a nice gift for a beer-loving host, as the growler can be saved and refilled. In our area, both Fairhope Brewing Co. and Big Beach Brewing Co. sell (and fill) growlers at their taprooms, so if you want to share a fresh (Take the) Causeway IPA with Santa, you can now do so. In addition to our local breweries, there are also a number of other locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties were you can purchase a wide variety of draft beer in growlers, and not just local favorites, but selections from craft breweries from across the country. Mobile’s Cottage Hill Package Store offers a wide variety (17 beers on tap), available for purchase in 64-ounce growlers and (single-use) 32-ounce aluminum crowlers. Old Shell Growlers recently opened across the street from the Dew Drop Inn, with more 30 draft beers for sale. One of the most convenient, and well-priced, places to get a growler, however, is at your local Piggly Wiggly. At the Spanish Fort Piggly Wiggly, the manager al-


buy frozen tails. Where’s the fun in that? Well, I am proud to report the wait is over. This past Friday marked the first day of the season for crawfish at Cajun Mudbugs at the Loop. With a really rainy August followed by a tremendous dry spell, the 2017 crawfish season could go either way. Fingers crossed that it could be anything close to the magnificent 2016 season we had. But no matter what, the good news is we can enjoy them right now.

Christmas at Oakleigh this weekend

It’s a tradition that has been going on for 60 years or more at the Oakleigh Mansion. Christmas at Oakleigh will be held this Friday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. with evening tours. Expect performances by local choirs, storytelling, food trucks and open house. Saturday, Dec. 10, will be an all-day Christ-

mas market and more tours. General admission tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Get yours now at Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Whole Foods holds cookie workshop

Saint Nick will be making his way to Whole Foods market and setting up shop in Toyland to take pictures with all of the good boys and girls Saturday, Dec. 17, from 1011:30 a.m. He’ll be reading stories at 10:45 and again at the close of the event. Children will be making cookies in the Community Room. It’s good they are putting the kids in charge of the cookie making. Teach them young. He has a few recipes of his own. Recycle!

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Photos/Daniel Anderson

Tours of the Bottle Creek Indian Mounds in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta typically take place during December, when water levels are at their lowest.

Mystery surrounds Bottle Creek Indian Mounds



t looks like a hill, but what is a 45-foot-high hill doing in the middle of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta? It’s really a Native American mound. But why would Native Americans have built a town on an island that floods rather than on a bluff overlooking a river? And how did the Mississippians, ancestors of such tribes as the Alabama, Apalachee, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Mobilian and Seminole, know the site was the dead center of the delta? A remote location and a minimum of archaeology make the Bottle Creek Indian Mounds historically valuable and a place of mystery. With nothing modern on the site other than a worn historical marker, visitors step centuries back into the past. The site is one of only a few of its kind that hasn’t been turned into a park, according to Greg Waselkov, director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama. At other sites, he says, “You see lots of mowed grass and

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museums and all kinds of amenities. Here it’s just pretty much untouched. It’s almost unique in that regard. We’re actually quite proud of the fact that it has been preserved.”

THE ISLAND HOLDS 18 MOUNDS. THE LARGEST IS THE 45-FOOT-HIGH MOUND A, AMONG THE LARGEST IN THE SOUTHEAST. LOWER, WIDER MOUNDS MOST LIKELY HELD TWO OR THREE HOUSES.” A town was established somewhere around 1200-1250. The Mississippians built mounds on which they constructed their homes and temples. On this site, they used small clam shells

and clay hauled with baskets to build mounds. “You dig a trench to put an upright pole in for structure of the walls,” Waselkov said. “Then you plaster that over with mud and put a thatch roof on. In very short order, you have a weatherproof house.” Those houses were good for about 20 years, before being methodically destroyed and rebuilt. The island holds 18 mounds. The largest is the 45-foot-high Mound A, among the largest in the Southeast. Lower, wider mounds most likely held two or three houses. Higher mounds were built to last longer. “We don’t know what buildings stood on the big mounds, but from other sites it’s pretty clear that they were primarily the houses of the chiefs, the elites,” Waselkov said.

Visiting the National Historic Landmark

Getting there isn’t easy. The only way is by boat. Historic Blakeley State Park sponsors two boat tours in December aboard the Delta Explorer, for 50 people at a time. They usu


Gulf Coast, where shell mounds on Daually sell out. phin Island date from the same period. December is the best time to visit the The Mississippian era ran roughly from mounds because water levels are at their 1250 to 1550, when the culture began to lowest. Snakes and alligators have, one change. When the French arrived on the hopes, retired for the winter. Visitors Gulf Coast in 1699, smaller nations of don’t have to contend with heat, humidity Mississippian descendants lived here. and mosquitoes. They are asked to wear By then, those descendants considered orange vests in case any deer hunters are Bottle Creek a sacred site. The explorer about, although it’s unlikely deer are stickJean Baptiste LeMoyne de Bienville probing around once 50 people have landed. ably gave an Indian a gun in return for “During really big floods, the only taking him to the island and its temple. land above water is mounds A and B,” There Bienville removed five statues while Waselkov said. “Hunters who have come his guide refused to go inside. Waselkov out here have told me the deer congregate said the statues were sent to France, but no on top of those mounds.” one has been able to locate them. The trip involves a one-hour boat ride The McMillan family held the land into the Delta, a scramble onto the island for more than 100 bank (keep moving on years. Scott Paper Co. two planks and don’t purchased the land think about it), a hike in the early 1990s on a trail that’s clear and donated it to the except for the most state of Alabama. It is recently fallen trees, THE MISSISSIPPIANS now controlled by the and the climb to the top Alabama Historical of Mound A. WERE A FARMING CULCommission. At the top, there’s TURE, SO THE EDGES OF In 1994 and 1995 a fresh hole Waselkov the University of said was probably dug DELTA LAND WERE USED Alabama conducted by someone looking the first large excava(illegally) for artifacts. FOR FARM FIELDS THAT tion, but the site is Because the top hasn’t WERE FERTILIZED BY extensive, Waselkov been excavated, no one said. “Far less than knows exactly what REGULAR FLOODING. 1 percent has been Mound A was used for. excavated.” On this particular There are no future day it’s dry enough to excavations planned. Because everything stand in one of the borrow pits from which and everyone would have to come and go clay was dug; usually the pit is under by boat, such a project would be extremely water, said Waselkov. The Mississippians expensive, Waselkov said. People at USA couldn’t have stayed at the site year-round. still want to do more surveying to confirm “It’s actually kind of a crazy place to build the existence of additional mounds that a town,” he said. were located by remote sensing. So the Bottle Creek Indian Mounds will Significance lost to time likely remain undisturbed, and that’s largely The Bottle Creek location, directly what makes them unique. Archaeologists in the middle of the delta, may have had still have much to learn, Waselkov said. a symbolic religious or political signifiAnd visitors have much to wonder about. cance, Waselkov said. It’s possible the Mississippians were trying to lay claim to The last Bottle Creek Mounds trip this the coast. year is set for Dec. 17, although some trips The Mississippians were a farming could be scheduled in January if there culture, so the edges of delta land were is enough demand and weather permits. used for farm fields that were fertilized by Check the events section at www.blakeregular flooding. They also hunted, and for more information. they may have migrated seasonally to the

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Symphony Christmas swings in upbeat show BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM


f you’re looking for a solemn Christmas affair, the upcoming Mobile Symphony Orchestra concert at the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.) might not do. The Dec. 10 and 11 show is primed to heighten holiday spirits. “This promises to be very high-energy stuff going on. This is not an old-timey Christmas,” MSO General Manager J. C. Barker said. More than the expected array of Handel, Tchaikovsky or Bach, MSO will run a gamut influenced by 20th century American sounds as much as Europe. That’s courtesy of special guests the Boston Brass. The quintet — two trumpets, French horn, trombone and tuba — bring a flair for swinging jazz rhythms and classical expertise to the Saenger stage. They also have a flair for showmanship. “The guys are very entertaining. They talk, they visit, they laugh and tell jokes. They have a real good time,” Barker said. Barker stumbled upon the Boston Brass at a 2004 Michigan festival. When he heard about their recent appearance at an Alabama Music Educators Association event, he drove to Montgomery. “I went to see if they would be interested in a Christmas show with an orchestra. We met in a hotel bar in Montgomery and figured it all out and made the plans and I got them contracted,” Barker said. He said it was the first time he was aware of the Boston Brass performing their signature Christmas show with a full orchestra. He thought it deserved another first, so

Holiday cards brighten MAC

Barker got on the horn to Baton Rouge. The introductory number was especially commissioned for the event and composed by LSU jazz studies professor Bill Grimes. Entitled “A Christmas Fantasy,” it involves the entire orchestra and is intended as an entrance for the quintet. Boston Brass will play the next three swinging numbers by themselves, accompanied by their own drummer. They follow with the full orchestra for two pieces before intermission. After the break, the brass combo will form an expanded group with MSO’s brass principals and section players to perform from charts by big band leader Stan Kenton. The pianist and composer was renowned for his “wall of brass” sound featuring unusually large bands. They follow with a couple more full orchestra numbers. Barker wouldn’t reveal what’s up their sleeve for encores but was enthused. Now in their 30th year, the Boston Brass’ website boasts they’ve played in 49 states and 30 countries with master classes, sessions and residencies at the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard, Peabody Conservatory, Royal Academy of Music in London, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the National University of Singapore and Mahidol University in Bangkok. They’ve also been featured on “The CBS Early Show” and NPR’s “Radio Performance Today.” There will be a change at the podium for this show as MSO Music Director Scott Speck will be at a special

MORE THAN THE EXPECTED ARRAY OF HANDEL, TCHAIKOVSKY OR BACH, MSO WILL RUN A GAMUT INFLUENCED BY 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN SOUNDS AS MUCH AS EUROPE. THAT’S COURTESY OF SPECIAL GUESTS THE BOSTON BRASS.” Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased by phone at 251-432-2010 or online at They’re also available at the MSO box office at 257 Dauphin St. MSO is joining sponsors Wind Creek Casino and Hotel and WKRG-TV in supporting the Great Toy Drive and Toys for Tots. Concertgoers are encouraged to drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the concert. “Christmas is in some ways kind of a difficult thing to program because there’s so much wonderful church music everywhere that’s very high-quality stuff, but we want to kind of shake it up a little bit. This is certainly an upbeat Christmas show,” Barker said.

Entrance is free. For more information call 251-432-9796 or go to

Glass show at ASMS

Mobile glass artist Rene Culler will debut a new exhibit in the gallery of the Alabama School of Math and Sciences (1255 Dauphin St.) with a reception on Friday, Dec. 9, that begins at 4:30 p.m. and runs into the evening. Entitled “East to West: Exploration of Form,” it is inspired by Culler’s work through her Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and investigations of Korean form. Though the style began in “changuum” or rice bale form, it transmuted into something more akin to Picasso than older traditions. “Before traveling to Korea, I began making blown glass forms with colored glass trailings — the first type of decoration used in core-form vessels thousands of years before people knew glass could be inflated. I work with students and this

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work became like painting as I layered color on the forms and surfaces evolved,” Culler wrote. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 251-441-2100 or go to

Mobile Ballet stages holiday classic

It’s not Christmas season without the annual performance of “The Nutcracker” by Mobile Ballet. The Tchaikovsky classic reveals the secrets of Christmas evening, with toys and treats that magically spring to life. Three performances take place at Mobile Civic Center Theater (401 Civic Center Drive) over the weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 10, there’s a 2:30 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 p.m. evening performance. Sunday, Dec. 11, has a 2:30 p.m. matinee. Tickets range from $60 to $20, with a discount for students, seniors and members of the military. For more information call 251-342-2241 or go to


It’s a big weekend for holiday-themed arts in Mobile and the Mobile Arts Council is in on the action with Christmas card art in its Skinny Gallery. The collection is courtesy of Michael Smith, who commissioned many of his artist friends to match his own designs used as invitations for his annual Christmas parties. The framed artwork is accompanied by Smith’s printed cards from 1995 to 2016. The Danielle Juzan Gallery features copper sculptures by Lebaron Heathcoe. The work is cut by hand, then shaped by beating, heating or welding. The Small Room features wood burning by Kathleen Kirk Stoves and focuses on Mobile’s significant oak trees. An opening reception will be held during the Dec. 9 LoDa Artwalk, from 6-9 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Joffrey Ballet premiere. Lifting the baton in his absence will be Maestra Teresa Cheung. “She was here a few years ago and conducted a masterworks concert with us. We really liked her and brought her back last Christmas and she did a fantastic job so we asked her back again,” Baker said. Aside from her usual gig as music director and conductor for the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Cheung is no stranger to travel. Guest conducting appearances have led her to the American Symphony Orchestra, the Bard Symphony Festival, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Nashville Symphony, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony and the Stamford Symphony. “She’s very down to earth, loves the orchestra and they love her,” Barker said. As a bit of holiday outreach, MSO will take the show to Monroeville on Friday night, Dec. 9, to perform in Nettles Auditorium at Alabama Southern Community College. It’s back to Mobile when that’s done. The Saenger’s Saturday concert is at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

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hristmas is known as a season of giving, and in that vein local country star Carla Williams two years ago gave the public her infectiously fun yuletide anthem “Are You Ready for Christmas,” on BelleFire Records. Williams and her family also sponsor an annual charity party, inviting an intimate crowd to her home in Monterey Place for an exclusive Christmas party benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. On Dec. 2, Williams partnered with Meat Boss, Grits & Grub, Bottoms Up Mobile, Blue Rents and Coastal Field & Design to once again hold her “Christmas in the Country” charity event. Williams spoke with Lagniappe as she prepared for this exclusive holiday event. STEPHEN CENTANNI: What’s your favorite thing about Christmas? CARLA WILLIAMS: Oh goodness, I would have to say that my favorite thing at this particular point in life is my children. They are my number one. Christmas with them is just so special. They love it just as much as we do. Another cool thing about it is that they’re into this charity event too. They invite all of their friends. Just having them be excited about something like that, and giving back to people and helping people that are struggling in life or need some help is just a really neat thing to


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witness as a mom. Centanni: What made you start doing this charity event? Wiliiams: Back in 2008, my little cousin Taylor Davis, who was a 5-year-old at the time, was diagnosed with leukemia and began the fight of his life. I’ve always been involved with charity, but it particularly hits home when it’s your family. I reached out to my family and aunt and uncle, and I asked, “How can we help?” My aunt had to quit her full-time job to take care of him. So we decided to put on a huge benefit concert back in 2009. We raised a lot of money. We partnered up with the city of Mobile and Mobile County and some of the commissioners. We had so many sponsors. People just really stepped up and helped in many ways. So, it all started when Taylor was diagnosed. For the past three years, we’ve done it at our home as a regular family thing to do to reach out. Luckily, Taylor survived and is doing very well, but there are many that don’t. There are so many people who have to be away from home, especially at Christmastime. I think that’s what’s so special to us. We’re able to help these children and these families have a Christmas, when they probably wouldn’t because they’re not at home. With all the medical expenses, they really can’t afford it. Centanni: What are these parties usually like? Williams: Because of my musical background, we’ve had different bands every year. This year we decided to step it up a notch and get one of the most sought-after party bands, which is The Tip-Tops. If you’re from Mobile, you’re familiar with The Tip-Tops. So, we really wanted to draw a crowd. When we do these events, our invitations go out and we insert a little thing that says to bring an unwrapped toy. I print out a list of all the household items that Ronald McDonald House has on a wishlist of certain things they really need on a day-to-day basis. It’s simple things like garbage bags and individually wrapped snacks that these families can grab as they’re coming and going from the hospital. We have a money tree set up. Santa Claus is there for all the children. It’s just a time of fun and fellowship. We’ll have the executive director of Ronald McDonald House and a lot of their staff there. They spread the word while they’re there of what goes on at the Ronald McDonald House

CARLA WILLIAMS’ “CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY” EVENT LAST WEEKEND BENEFITED RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE. HER SINGLE “LOVE ME SOME YOU” WAS RELEASED EARLIER THIS YEAR. on a daily basis. It’s a big party, but it’s a big party for all the right reasons. Centanni: What’s the best part of throwing these parties? Williams: The best part for us as a family and the reason that we do it is to simply do anything we can to help the Ronald McDonald House. They have daily needs. Financially, they have needs. Christmastime comes along, and these families can’t go home. We provide toys and clothing and socks and hats and gloves and anything that these children could need or want on Christmas morning. The reason that we do what we do is to give these children and families as much joy and hope as we can, just throw our little bit of donation and time and support. Centanni: Do you see this event getting bigger? Will it ever grow beyond your home? Williams: Absolutely. We’ve tried to keep this event private, because it’s at our home. We reach out to family friends, clients, co-workers and people we go to school with. The first time that we had it, we had 150 people. We joked last year that we didn’t have that many people because of the SEC Championship. So we did it on a Friday this year and didn’t have that competition. We want to make it as big as we can possibly make it.

It’s our commitment to do this for Ronald McDonald House every year, whether it’s big or small. We would love to grow this thing into something huge to raise a lot of money and supply them with what they need on a daily basis. Centanni: Let’s talk about your music and BellFire Records. What’s been going on in that part of your world? Williams: My Christmas single came out in 2014. My producer and manager in Nashville said that it’s funny how a Christmas song works. On rotation in the music world, it takes a good three to five years for a Christmas song to really catch the eye and ear of all the right people. We just released it again, and we’re going to start pitching it on a commercial level. We would love to see this song on a commercial. It seems like everybody who has listened to it in the industry, across the country and into Scotland, thinks that it’s a song that should be on a Macy’s commercial. It’s just a happy and fun song. It’s actually playing all across the world right now, which is very neat to hear myself in Scotland or somewhere like that. Another one of my singles (“Love Me Some You”) was released earlier this year, and we’re really going to push it over the next few months. I’ve started writing some new music, and we’ll be hitting the studio really soon.

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he Jewel on Joachim will be getting the Azalea City up and rocking around the Christmas tree, as Rock the Holidays brings two bands specializing in classic rock to the Saenger stage. If the rock was not reason enough to attend, Rock the Holidays will also generate money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The evening will begin with The Atomic Punks. Since

Photo | Facebook | Zebra


1994, this band has specialized in bringing Van Halen fans sounds from the legendary band’s David Lee Roth era. From “Jump” to “Hot for Teacher,” The Atomic Punks are guaranteed to satisfy the most diehard Van Halen fan. While the whole band uses their sonic accuracy to pay tribute to Van Halen, front man Brian Geller has mastered Roth’s immortal rock swagger and attitude. Even though New Orleans is known for jazz and funk, the Big Easy sometimes gives birth to some impressive rock

Crescent City’s Tangle


outfits. In the early ‘80s, the band Zebra began to gain an audience beyond its NOLA base. In the beginning, this trio used a cover-heavy set to please crowds and venue owners, but also showcased some original material. Taking a cue from ‘70s rock legends, Zebra’s overall style placed edgy rock on a foundation of 12-string acoustic goodness. In 1983, Zebra signed to Atlantic and released its breakout self-titled debut, containing the immortal hits “Who’s Behind the Door” and “Tell Me What You Want.”

Love unleashed



Photo | Facebook | Darcy Malone & The Tangle

artina McBride is bringing her Love Unleashed Tour to the Gulf Coast. Since the early ‘90s, this country diva has enjoyed success with numerous top 10 hits. Her vocal work has earned her numerous awards, as well as 14 Grammy nominations. She has spent 2016 promoting her latest album, “Reckless,” which entered at the No. 2 spot on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The album’s moods range from lighthearted to heartfelt. Two modern country acts will be joining McBride at the Beau Rivage. Canada shares America’s love of country, and High Valley will give the crowd a collection of songs from the Great White North, including cuts from its latest release, “Dear Life.” Completing this country music triumvirate, the young Hailey Whitters will showcase music from her debut album, “Black Sheep.”


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Photo | Facebook | Martina McBride


obile is about to get mixed up with Darcy Malone & the Tangle. According to vocalist Darcy Malone, the band’s moniker reflects this Crescent City band’s style. Malone describes their music as a tangle of “pop/rock to New Wave to soul to R&B.” This band has been busy preparing for the March release of their debut album “Still Life,” for which Malone and her crew retreated to Marigny Recording Studios where tracks were laid and mixed by Rick Nelson of The Afghan Whigs. Afterward, Richard Dodd (Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) leveled “Still Life” through the mastering process. Malone’s description of the band’s eclectic sound could not be more perfect. Its tangled musical philosophy is so subtle that it’s challenging to decipher the band’s multi-genre nuances. It’s this aspect, however, that makes its music so special. The contrast between tracks like “Babycakes” and “Motel Room” is amazing, but the overall song arrangements definitely connect the tracks on this first effort.

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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | December 8 - December 14


.38 Special to headline MoonPie Over Mobile


Photo | Facebook | 38 Special


any cities usher in New Year’s Day with the countdown descent of a representative icon. Key West drops a queen conch shell and Atlanta drops a peach. For the past eight years, the Azalea City has celebrated the birth of the New Year by dropping a giant, electrified moonpie from the RSA Trustmark Building. Over the years, MoonPie Over Mobile has brought tens of thousands of revelers to the streets of downtown Mobile to watch the city’s iconic pastry fall during the countdown for the incoming year. While the various bars and venues will be providing a plethora of entertainment, the city of Mobile and the Downtown Mobile Alliance use MoonPie Over Mobile as an excuse to turn downtown into one big street party featuring musical performances and the holiday’s festive spirit. Over the years, MoonPie Over Mobile has featured artists such as En Vogue, The Commodores, The Village People and Gretchen Wilson. This year, organizers want the crowd to hold on

loosely with classic rockers .38 Special. The Southern rock outfit from Jacksonville, Florida, has spent the past the past 40 years gathering a dedicated following. In the ‘80s, .38 Special broke onto the national scene with hits such as “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Hold On Loosely” and “Caught Up in You.” Their MoonPie Over Mobile set should be an exhilarating experience that will add to the building excitement of the moonpie drop. Festivities will begin at 9:15 p.m. with the traditional cutting of the world’s largest edible moonpie. In true Mobile fashion, the moonpie cutting will be followed by a second-line parade that will travel from Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel to the main stage. After a performance by the soon-to-be announced opening act, headliner .38 Special will take the stage. The set will end with “Auld Lang Syne” and an epic display of fireworks and lasers. For more information, visit

Mumford & Sons head Hangout Fest 2017



ecember brings a sense of joyful excitement to the Gulf Coast, but anticipation of Christmas and Mardi Gras aren’t the only catalysts. The holiday season also ushers the initial announcement of the lineup for The Hangout Music Festival, taking place in Gulf Shores May 19-21. Last week, festival fans’ curiosity was satisfied with a preview of the eighth installment of this world-class music extravaganza. As with many mega-festivals, Hangout Fest has evolved since its 2010 inception. Considering this year’s initial reveal and last year’s lineup, Hangout Fest seems to have established itself as a festival specializing in modern sounds with a peppering of popular bands from the past two decades. Folk rock darlings Mumford & Sons will headline Hangout 2017. Festival veterans Twenty-One Pilots also will be returning to the Alabama Gulf Coast. With his new album “Blonde” thrilling critics and fans alike, R&B crooner Frank Ocean will be making his

Hangout Fest debut. Chance the Rapper had to cancel his 2014 Hangout Fest appearance, but will make it up in 2017 with a headlining set. Major Lazer (another Hangout Fest vet) and DJ Snake will be this year’s big EDM headliners, and Weezer will provide a set of old-school alt. rock sounds. After taking a short hiatus, psychedelic indie rockers MGMT are back and ready for the Hangout crowd. The lineup also includes performances from Sigur Rós, Band of Horses, The Head & the Heart, A$AP Ferg, Franz Ferdinand, Charli XCX, Warpaint, Cash Cash, Shaggy, Magic!, Mutemath, Arizona, Coin, Frances, White Reaper and many, many more. Tickets are on sale now, currently set at $269. As always, there will also be several tiers of access. VIP credentials are currently going for $1,099, and Super VIP access can be purchased for $1,599. Once again, Hangout Fest will feature condo packages including both tickets and passes. More information is available at the festival’s official website,

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THUR. DEC 8 Bluegill— Brandon White Duo Blues Tavern— Doobious, 8:30p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Callaghan’s— Bobby Butchka Cockeyed Charlie’s— JJ Felix’s— Jeri Flora Bama— Grove Scrivenor, 1p// Mark Sherrill, John Joiner, Chris Newbury and Mel Knapp,4p/// Al & Cathy, 8p//// Tim Kinsey, 8p Frog Pond— Listening Room— Lachlan Bryan Lulu’s— Lefty Collins, 5p Manci’s— Ross Newell, 7p Veets— Brent Loper, 8p Wind Creek Casino— Darryl Perry, 8p

FRI. DEC 9 Alchemy— Gregg Fells, 10p All Sports Bar & Billiards— DJ Markie Mark, 10p Big Beach Brewing— Gulf Shores Mofo’s, 6p Bluegill— Tim Kinsey, 12p/ Blind Dog Mike, 6p Blues Tavern— Chico & Chris, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Delta Smoke, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— Ty Taylor & Friends, 10p Felix’s— Grits N Pieces Flora Bama— LeaAnne Creswell Duo, 2p// Jack Robertson Show, 5:30p/// Lee Yankie Duo, 6p//// River Dan Band, 10p//// Zach Diedrich Duo, 10:15p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — The Joel Cooper Rock Band, 9p Hard Rock (Live) — Brandon Bennett’s Merry Christmas Baby, 8p IP Casino— Lonestar, 8p Listening Room— Darcy Malone and the Tangle Lulu’s— Albert Simpson, 5p Manci’s— Chris Powell, 7p Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — Wavelenghth, 8p Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — David Chastang, 6p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) —

Lefty Collins, 6p O’Daly’s— Gene Murrell, Tony Edwards and David White, 10p Soul Kitchen— The Molly Ringwalds, 10:30p Veets— The Family Jewels, 9p Wind Creek Casino— G-Funk, 9p

SAT. DEC 10 Beau Rivage— Martina McBride, 7:30p Big Beach Brewing— Strictly Isbell, 6p Bluegill— David Chastang, 12p/ DOTC, 6p Blues Tavern— Smokin’ Toasters, 9p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang & The Long Road Home, 6p Callaghan’s— Motel Radio Cockeyed Charlie’s— DJ Chill, 10p Felix’s— Blind Dog Mike Fin’s— Johnny Barbato Flora Bama— Jezebel’s Chill’n1p// Jay Hawkins Duo, 2p/// Jack Robertson, 5:30p//// Johnny B Trio, 6p//// Foxy Iguanas, 10p//// Shawna P Trio, 10:15p//// Rebecca Barry and Bust, 11p Hard Rock (Center Bar) — The Joel Cooper Rock Band, 9p Hard Rock (Live) — Brandon Bennett’s Merry Christmas Baby, 8p Listening Room— Luke Winslow King, 8p Lulu’s— Albert Simpson, 5p Manci’s— Modern Eldorados, 7:30p Saenger— Swingin Christmas Soul Kitchen— Future Astronaut, Ugly Sweater, Loaded Gunn, Panda, Panax, Swinger, Code Math, Cosmos, 10p Top of the Bay— Coleman Mason Band Veets— The Family Jewels, 9p Wind Creek Casino— G-Funk, 9p

SUN. DEC 11 Bluegill— Ryan Balthrop, 12p/ Cary Laine & Friends,

6p Blues Tavern— Dr. Bob, 6p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Anna McElory, 6p Callaghan’s— Grayson Capps Felix’s— Bobby Butchka Frog Pond— Oh Jeremiah, The Mulligan Brothers, 2p Listening Room— Jamell Richardson, 7p Lulu’s— Greg Brown, 5p Manci’s— Eric Erdman, 7p Saenger— Swingin Christmas Top of the Bay— Velcro Pygmies Veets— The Family Jewels, 8p

MON. DEC 12 Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Blind Dog Mike, 6p Felix’s— Chris Hergenroder Lulu’s— Brent Burns, 5p Veets— Vickie Bailey’s Musician Christmas Jam, 7p

TUE. DEC 13 Bluegill— Roger Fleshmsn Blues Tavern— Dr. Bob Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Jon Maddox, 6p Butch Cassidy’s— Chris Powell Cockeyed Charlie’s— Jordan Bramblett Fairhope Brewing— Green Drinks Felix’s— Bobby Butchka Lulu’s— Jimmy Lumpkin, 5p The Merry Widow— Dave Stone’s Holly Jolly Tour, 9p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Anna McElroy, 6p

WED. DEC 14 Bluegill— Ross Newell Blues Tavern— Doobious, 8p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Ryan Balthrop, 6p Brickyard— Nick & The Overalls Callaghan’s— Phill & Foster Felix’s— Lee Yankie Lulu’s— Jon Cowart, 5p Saenger— Rock the Holidays

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Swinton, Fiennes make a bigger splash



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


wo of the finest, most idiosyncratic actors working today are gloriously paired in Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s “A Bigger Splash.” Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes ignite this languid story of love, regret and rock music as former lovers and close friends whose long-term intimacy flutters between platonic and sexual, all the while observed by her younger boyfriend and his much younger daughter. Swinton is an “always watch” actress; if she is in a movie, you should at least check it out. Her starring turn in this director’s 2009 movie “I Am Love” induced widespread swooning over a visual style that is also gloriously displayed here. As rock star Marianne Lane (Swinton) recovers from throat surgery that leaves her unable to speak, she is lovingly and almost silently served by her hunky younger boyfriend (Matthias Schoenaerts). Into their clothing-optional reverie on a sun-drenched Italian island explodes their mutual longtime friend Harry (Ralph Fiennes), who is simultaneously, brilliantly delightful, annoying, needy and attentive. What follows is a gorgeously photographed, incredibly stylish character study, as Swinton and Fiennes literally and figuratively dance around their feelings, past and present. And speaking of dancing, Fiennes delivers a career high in a sprightly dance sequence to a Rolling

Stones album he plays, trying to impress his daughter and everyone else with his many famous associations as a record producer. Harry seems always to be trying too hard, yet he is undeniably successful and talented. Fiennes gives him incredible dimensions. Things come to a head in the film’s shocking final scenes, but the excellent dialogue and great performances

SWINTON IS AN “ALWAYS WATCH” ACTRESS; IF SHE IS IN A MOVIE, YOU SHOULD AT LEAST CHECK IT OUT. HER STARRING TURN IN THIS DIRECTOR’S 2009 MOVIE “I AM LOVE” INDUCED WIDESPREAD SWOONING OVER A VISUAL STYLE THAT IS ALSO GLORIOUSLY DISPLAYED HERE. were enough for me up until that point. Apparently Tilda Swinton made the suggestion to cut all her character’s dialogue and make her mute from surgery, and her attempts to stop herself from screaming at the end are amazing.

Swinton is one talented alien goddess. She’s incredibly specific physically, yet a chameleon as an actress. Even the basically vapid Dakota Johnson brings something to her role as Fiennes’ recently identified daughter; she is yet another puzzle piece from the characters’ storied pasts. Flashbacks fill in some of the details, as does perfectly rendered dialogue between characters who know everything about each other, but still find ways to explain themselves to the audience. As for the plot of “A Bigger Splash,” nothing much happens. Yet the experience of watching it is dynamic and exciting, even suspenseful, and not just to see what Swinton will wear next. Her relationship with Schoenaerts is as subtle and quiet; hidden depths are suggested in the care they show for each other. His suicide attempt and subsequent sobriety are hotbutton topics. We only find out in a flashback that it was Harry who introduced him to Marianne in the first place, essentially handing her off with his blessing. This film is basically two hours of sexual tension, fabulous caftans, stunning scenery, an awesome soundtrack and nudity. It is also much more than that, a simmering visual experience that never lets the characters or the viewer relax into the paradise so vividly shown on screen. “A Bigger Splash” is currently available to rent.

RAVE MOTION PICTURE JUBILEE SQUARE 12 6898 U.S. 90 Daphne, (251) 626- 6266 CARMIKE CINEMAS 23151 Wharf Ln. Orange Beach (251) 981-4444 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.

Photos | Fox Searchlight Films / Paramount Pictures/Warner Brothers

From left: Tilda Swinton is a famous rock star whose Italian vacation with her filmmaker boyfriend is disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter. The “Office Christmas Party” gets out of hand as employees try to win a client and save their jobs.J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. NEW IN THEATERS OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s (T.J. Miller) branch, he and his chief technical officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.


In a small town going through tough economic times, business owner Matthew Peyton (Ryan O’Quinn) struggles between his desire for financial success and his responsibility for funding the

annual Christmas pageant. Desperate business decisions ruin his popularity and angry employees seek their revenge. When Matthew meets Clarence (Issac Ryan Brown), a joyful boy who believes in miracles, he must make a choice: do what’s best for himself or give faith a chance by opening his heart to help his community. Carmike Wynnsong 16, Jubilee Square


You have one more week to see the film that’s popping up on every best-of-the-year list so far, and likely to garner more praise. Crescent Theater

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INCARNATE All listed multiplex theaters. BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Carmike Wharf RULES DON’T APPLY 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. EDGE OF SEVENTEEN All listed multiplex theaters. ARRIVAL All listed multiplex theaters. ALMOST CHRISTMAS

All listed multiplex theaters. DR. STRANGE All listed multiplex theaters. TROLLS All listed multiplex theaters. HACKSAW RIDGE All listed multiplex theaters. INFERNO All listed multiplex theaters. BOO: A MEDEA HALLOWEEN All listed multiplex theaters. JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Eastern Shore Premiere Cinema, Regal Mobile Stadium 18 THE ACCOUNTANT Regal Mobile Stadium 18 GIRL ON A TRAIN Regal Mobile Stadium 18 SHUT IN Regal Mobile Stadium 18 OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL Regal Mobile Stadium 18

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GENERAL INTREST Distinguished Lecture Series The University of South Alabama Gulf Shores campus 2nd annual Distinguished Lecture Series will be Thursday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., at 19470 Oak Road W. in Gulf Shores. To register call 251-460-7200, or visit www. Lighting Up Midtown Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Join St. Mary for this annual block party. Lafayette Street Fire Department will assist with the tree lighting. Thursday, Dec. 8, at 6:45 p.m. St. Mary Catholic School, 107 N. Lafayette St. For more information call 251-432-8678. Old Shell Road Loft tour The Midtown Mobile Movement will host tours of the new Old Shell Road Lofts at 1706 Old Shell Road, Thursday, Dec. 8, 5-8 p.m. $10 donation suggested. Christmas at Oakleigh Featuring an open house tour, choir performances, storytelling, food trucks, and more! Friday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 will be our evening tours. Saturday, Dec. 10th all day Christmas market and open house tours. Call 251-432-1281 or visit

LoDa Artwalk Starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, galleries, restaurants, shops, in the Lower Dauphin (LoDa) Arts District open their doors for a family-friendly evening of exhibitions and entertainment by area artists. For more information call 251-208-1550.

Christmas through the Ages Experience Christmas of days gone by at Fort Gaines. Join soldiers from the past and their families as they celebrate a noncommercial Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, email DIP holiday parade Join District 3 for a Parade of 3s on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. The parade runs along Dauphin Island Parkway from B.C. Rain High School to Pillans Middle School on Military Road.

Elfapalooza Mobile’s chance to break the Guinness World Record for most elves in one place (Bienville Square). To be a part of the official count, come wearing red and Fowl River boat parade green, an elf hat and pointy ears! The Fowl River Christmas Boat Friday, Dec. 9, 5-7 p.m. Parade will cruise down Fowl River at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10. Scarlet Event Staging is at The Pelican Reef, The fifth annual “Scarlet Event” 11799 Dauphin Island Parkway, at will be held at Cathedral Square 5:30 p.m. Call 251-973-2670. on Friday, Dec. 9, beginning at 5 p.m. This free gathering will offer Dauphin Island Christmas tree an evening of music, art and vital lighting health. For more information call The Dauphin Island Chamber 251-690- 8170. of Commerce hosts the second Christmas in Daphne On Friday, Dec. 9, the Daphne Christmas Parade rolls at 6:30 p.m. south along Main Street through Olde Towne Daphne. For more information, please call 251621-9000.

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annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. at Water Tower Plaza. Refreshmentswill be provided and there will be “snow!” Living history crew drill Learn what life aboard the USS

Alabama was like during WWII, observe the call to battle stations, YAK attacks at 1 p.m., drills and more. Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday Dec. 11 at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. 251433-2703. St. Mary Parish Christmas & Mom’s Day Out Brunch On Sunday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in St. Mary’s Seton Center (1413 Old Shell Road), meet our Mom’s Day Out director and tour the facility offering early child care. For more information contact the parish office at 251432-8678. “Journey to Bethlehem” “Journey to Bethlehem” — an interactive worship experience with costumed actors and a petting zoo of period animals — will take place Dec. 11, 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Providence Presbyterian Church, 2320 Schillinger Road S., Mobile. Green Drinks Green Drinks Fairhope will host a holiday gift market at its monthly meeting Tuesday, Dec. 13, 5-7 p.m., at Fairhope Brewing Co. In addition to the market, the evening will feature live music and $5 dinners from Sunflower Café.

Sensory Friendly Santa Offering children with special needs an opportunity to communicate with Santa before the mall opens. Photos are free to these families. In the fountain area of The Shoppes of Bel Air, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m. For more information call 251478-1893. 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. 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. For more information visit 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 for more information.

FUNDRAISERS Christmas Singabration An evening of favorite Christmas songs and carols. Sunday, Dec. 11, 5-7 p.m. at The Steeple, 251 St. Francis St. Tickets are $5 with proceeds going to WKRG Toy Drive. 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 Nutcracker ballet Join the Mobile Ballet for our annual holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” Saturday, Dec. 10,

at 2:30 & 7:30 p.m and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the Mobile Civic Center. For more information visit Sunday Funday Arts & Crafts Market Created to encourage the Mobile community to enjoy downtown on Sundays, while supporting our wonderful local artists. 1-5 p.m. in Cathedral Square, Sunday, Dec. 11. Belle Canto Choir Concert The St. Pius X Belle Canto Choir will present a Christmas Celebration in Music, “Behold a Rose E’er Blooming,” on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. in the St. Pius Family Life Center, 216 S. Sage Ave. Free admission. Please bring food items to help feed the hungry. Baldwin Pops holiday concert Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Daphne Civic Center. Free admission, toys will be collected for Toys for Tots.

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

Holiday Extravaganza The History Museum of Mobile’s Holiday Extravaganza is Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. For more information, please contact Gavin at 251-301-0273. 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. 13 speaker will be Ryan Miller. For more information call 251-929-1471. Little Discoveries Outside the Box: This “Little Discovery” in the Exploreum’s Wharf of Wonder aimed at children 6 and under explores how innovation and creativity can lead to a world of possibilities starting with a simple cardboard box. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. Call 251-208-6893 or email 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 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 251208-5200.

SPORTING EVENTS/ ACTIVITIES Exercise classes Palmer Pillans Middle School hosts a wide variety of exercise classes, including ballroom dance, boxing and more. For more information call 251-463-7980. Beginner belly dancing for women Every Tuesday through Dec. 13, come learn to belly dance at Palmer Pillans Middle School. For more information call 251-2081662. 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 251-656-3269.

Ballroom dance Azalea Ballroom Dance Club hosts dances with live music the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m. at Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center, 1717 Dauphin St. Email, call 251-623-9183 or visit www. Ballroom dance The Moonlight Chasse Ballroom Dance Society hosts dances the first and third Monday of every month, 7-9:30 p.m., at Fitzpen Place, 11247 State Highway 31 in Spanish Fort. Email cassief13@

WORKSHOPS CPR class Mobile Fire-Rescue will offer free community CPR classes at Murphy High School. All classes start at 5 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Dec. 13, at MHS. Call 251-2081659 or 251-234-9080 to register. Predatory lending and high-cost loans Learn some of the more common practices and how much high-fee loans are costing you and how to avoid them. 6-7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 12, at Lifelines/Consumer Credit Counseling, 705 Oak Circle Drive E. (Mobile). Call 251-6020011 to register in advance.

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Sealls picks up two Emmys



THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE MIXOLOGY BY MATT GINSBERG / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 They often have small tables 6 Base men? 10 Jazzes (up) 14 “Back to the Future” antagonist 18 Stars-and-stripes land, informally 19 Some Great Plains residents 20 Possible destination for un inmigrante, with “el” 22 Hero 23 Infant + straying = noted coach 25 Less polite + wildly unconventional = epicenter 27 Eye part 28 New pop of 1924 30 Approached apace 31 Pro 32 In Tahitian it means “good” 34 Urban woe + squirms = pool accessory 37 Untuned, say 40 Halters? 42 Big Ten sch. 43 Delay + dodos = some compromises 46 Adorn brilliantly 51 Birthday girl’s wear 52 Pandora release 53 Del ____ (fast-food chain) 55 Poetic Muse 56 Spa, e.g. 58 Nevada gold-mining town 60 Remain + “Hmm ...” = R&B great 62 ____ season 64 Moved at a crawl 66 Saharan 67 Letter at the end of three other letters 70 Bill producers + Western wear = info for events 74 Lisa, to Bart 75 Big name in root beer 77 Overindulged 78 Sushi go-with 80 Show, informally + African capital = Adonis 82 Social worker? 85 Suck it up? 89 Someone never seen in “Peanuts” 90 ____ Minor 92 Yarn 94 Feudal lord 95 Mariners’ aids 97 Pasty + vacation expense, maybe = hospital specialty 100 Court affirmation 101 Radial alternative 102 Was ahead 103 See + umbrella alternative = warming option

108 Minimal diamond margin 111 Lead-in to maniac 112 Santa ____ 113 Area to defend 115 “My Cup Runneth Over” crooner 119 Regarding + undercoat = network with 303 stations 122 Day of the month + succeed = some recital pieces 124 Epps of “House” 125 Kind of chair 126 In years past 127 Vertical 128 Makes it? 129 Prefix with byte 130 The time of Nick? 131 ____ Chris Steak House

17 Results of icy breakups? 21 Finally put an end to? 24 Mrs. Gorbachev 26 Follower of an Alaskan team 29 “The doctor ____” 33 Actress Hatcher 35 Last part of the country to report election results 36 Keeps safe 37 Pulls (out of) 38 Resell quickly 39 “____ not!” 41 Takes a chance 44 Saharan 45 Curses 46 Recall cause, maybe 47 Computer hookups 48 Chain that sells chains DOWN 49 Cheri formerly of “S.N.L.” 1 “Jinx” breakers of 2016 50 “The Highwayman” poet 2 “Hold on ____!” 54 Some 3 Stable arrival 57 Do pretty well gradewise 4 Violinist Zimbalist 59 Currently airing 5 Negev native 61 What germs may turn into 6 Evasive 63 Squeal on 7 Crooked 65 Relatives on the father’s 8 Accomplished everything side 9 Green of “The Italian Job” 67 Classic Icelandic literary 10 Director Lee works 11 Cat that epitomizes 68 Time for una siesta finickiness 69 For two 12 Many a charity tournament 71 Cabooses 13 Deeply offended 72 Some needlework, 14 Hollywood, with “the” informally? 15 Unimprovable 73 Art 16 The “F” in F = ma 76 Carter/Brezhnev agree-

ment 79 Absolutely awesome 81 After Rainier, highest peak in the Pacific Northwest 83 Island whose volcanic eruption is rumored to have destroyed Atlantis 84 Simple truth 86 Mend 87 Nasty sort 88 Attention, for some 91 Capital where Robert Louis Stevenson died 93 Verb from which “suis” and “sommes” are conjugated 96 Anonymous 98 Heavy-metal band with 1980s hits 99 Correo ____ (foreign mail stamp) 101 Carrier 103 Move, as a plant 104 Old World lizard 105 Hulk Hogan trademark 106 October option 107 Counterpart of “stand” 109 Milk container 110 Remote land in the Pacific 114 Familiar with 116 Rendezvous 117 Impress deeply 118 Bygone boomers, for short 120 Org. authorized by the 16th Amendment 121 Spanish she-bear 123 Maiden-name preceder


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KRG’s oft-awarded chief meteorologist continued his run of bringing home the accolades by picking up two regional Emmy Awards this past weekend. Chief Meteorologist Alan Sealls was recognized twice last weekend at the National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences’ 40th annual Suncoast Chapter Regional Emmy Awards. The wins give Sealls a total of eight Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations. Sealls won an award for his documentary “Tornados Push, Tornadoes Pull,” which offered an explanation of how a tornado that hit Pensacola Feb. 23 of this year caused so much damage. Sealls was also recognized for overall excellence in weather broadcasting as he took the Emmy for best weather anchor. The Suncoast Emmys honor broadcasting excellence in throughout the Southeast, and Sealls faced competition from the largest markets in the region. He was the only Mobile-Pensacola broadcaster honored. With a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Cornell and a master’s from Florida State, Sealls has spent much of his professional life working in both broadcast and teaching. Currently he teaches weather broadcasting at the University of South Alabama each spring, and has produced 30 weather videos for schools distributed throughout North America by Discovery Education. Before coming to Mobile in 1999, Sealls worked with stations in Chicago and also taught at Columbia College. This year’s regional Emmy awards were handed out Dec. 3 in Orlando, Florida.

Sinclair and AT&T/DirecTV back on

Those who’ve been seeing scrolls at the bot-

tom of the TV screen warning there might be some interruption of WPMI and WEAR being carried by DirecTV and U-verse can breathe easy. The retransmission agreements between the stations’ parent companies, Sinclair Broadcast Group and DirecTV/AT&T U-verse, meant stations all over the country faced a Dec. 1 deadline for possibly coming off of the television providers. However, as is generally the case in such contractual showdowns, both sides came to an agreement before deadline and there was no interruption.  

Vanguard blows it

The University of South Alabama student newspaper, The Vanguard, recently taught its young journalists a lesson no newspaper reporter ever wants to learn about firsthand — how to issue a retraction. According to information posted on its website, The Vanguard’s leadership decided to issue a full retraction of a Nov. 19 article concerning what it says were unsubstantiated allegations against a faculty member in the university’s glassblowing department. “The Vanguard is fully retracting an article published in issue 12 titled ‘Renowned head of galss [sic] blowing department loses tenure,’” the retraction read. It cited errors that included a “wholly unsubstantiated claim” that an assistant glassblowing professor neglects studio equipment. The retraction went on to say the article’s accusations were based on a single, uncorroborated anonymous source and that it contained other errors as well, including using a photo out of context. The staff apologized to the professor it named in particular.

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Praytor to celebrate successful season at ARCA awards banquet BY J. MARK BRYANT/SPORTS WRITER/SPORTS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM/TWITTER @GOULAGUY


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Photo | Submitted

t has been a banner year for Thomas “Moose” Pray- go and we’ll keep adding the parts and pieces we need to tor and the Max Force Racing Team. The Mobile native run up front.” recorded his best-ever finish in the Automobile Racing Even his pit crew was unique, consisting of volunteer Club of America (ARCA) drivers’ standings by claimstudents from the University of Northwestern Ohio. Adam ing the No. 5 position. Lowe, the crew chief, is a two-year member of the UNOH Praytor will get a chance to celebrate his accomplishRace Club, a school-supported internship program. ments this Saturday, Dec. 10, when the 2016 ARCA “I wouldn’t trade our guys for a crew from Hendrick [a Championship awards banquet takes place at the Indiana NASCAR team]. They work their butts off,” said PrayConvention Center. tor, a high school teammate of current NFL quarterback “There was a point this season we didn’t think we could AJ McCarron. “Not only do they care about what they stay in the top 10, but our guys kept working, never gave are doing, they have gotten pretty quick, too. Adam Lowe up and the finishes started to fall our way,” said Praytor, has been with us from the first lap and most of the other who will be among the featured speakers this weekend in guys joined us last year: Tevin Bair, Kyle Warner, Angelo Indianapolis. Callabrese and Andy Ball. They all get what we are trying Praytor started his racing career when he was just 12. to do.” After trying the Late Model ranks at Mobile International Praytor has continued his connection to academics in Speedway and Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway, he made Mobile. He has begun teaching students at Bishop State a splash on the ARCA circuit with a ninth-place finish in Community College how to drive big rigs and earn their 2013. He followed in 2014 with a seventh-place mark and commercial driver’s license. in 2015 took the No. 8 spot. “It has really been fulfilling workDuring this last season, Praytor ing with students from all types of recorded his best career finishes at backgrounds,” Praytor said. “We can Daytona, Talladega, Toledo, Maditake a student who has a minimumson, Iowa, IRP (Indianapolis), Berlin, wage job outlook and in eight weeks PRAYTOR WILL GET A Springfield, DuQuoin, Chicago, we can give them an opportunity to Kentucky and Kansas. CHANCE TO CELEBRATE HIS have a career with a national trucking “The quality of our equipment company. Last semester every one ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS was better in 2016 and we work hard of our graduating students had jobs on preparing them to go the distance; within a week.” SATURDAY, DEC. 10, WHEN you can’t finish if parts are falling Praytor’s connection to Bishop off,” said Praytor, whose main sponState began when he took his driving THE 2016 ARCA CHAMPIsors are DK-LOK Fittings and Valves test there in order to operate his race ONSHIP AWARDS BANQUET of Mobile, Chive Charities and team’s Kenworth truck during the GoodBookley. “We may not have the season. He spends three or four halfTAKES PLACE AT THE INDIfastest cars but we take a great deal days a week teaching at Bishop State of pride in our cars being ready.” when not working on his ARCA ANA CONVENTION CENTER. While Praytor manages to have career. a paid crew to prepare the cars for This Saturday, Praytor’s team will weekend races like the other top five be among those being recognized in finishers, at his shop in Mobile it’s just Praytor and anyone many categories: CGS Hard Charger Award (second), S&S who wishes to volunteer. His No. 9 Ford also featured an Volvo Laps Completed (third), Bill France Four Crown older steel body and a Legacy Roush D3 motor while his Award (fourth), Fast Track Driving Award (sixth), Racing competitors had new composite bodies and high-perforElectronics Lighting Challenge (seventh) and Short Track mance Ilmor engines. Challenge by Protect Plus (sixth). “We were down on horsepower, heavy on bodies and “We have had an incredible season, and I couldn’t begin down on aero,” Praytor said. “Basically, we were behind to thank everyone who has had a hand in our success,” the eight ball in almost every competitive category except Praytor said. “My family has been with me all the way and one — our people. When you are an underfunded team you we couldn’t be here without DK-LOK. There isn’t much can either complain or make the best of what you have. of an off-season in our shop — we are already working on We’ve learned a lot about what it takes to make these cars next season.”


Desmond King of Iowa, the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner for best defensive back, is among the 18 players who have accepted invitations to the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl. This brings the total number of players to 47. The second Auburn player named is defensive tackle Montravius Adams. The All-Southeastern Conference performer had a career-high 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks this season. He also has an interception and two blocked kicks. Others on the list are Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado cornerback; Tarell Basham, Ohio defensive end and linebacker; Matt Dayes, North Carolina State running back; Jake Elliott, Memphis kicker; Justin Evans, Texas A&M safety who once played at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Kyle Fuller, Baylor center; Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville safety; Cole Hikutini, Louisville tight end; Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky offensive tackle; Conor McDermott, UCLA offensive tackle; Takkarist McKinley, UCLA defensive end and linebacker; Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut safety; Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M wide receiver; Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas tight end; Jamari Staples, Louisville wide receiver; and Jon Toth, Kentucky center. The Reese’s Senior Bowl will bring in 110 of the top seniors and fourth-year junior graduates to Mobile. Practices to be broadcast on NFL Network and ESPN2 start on Jan. 24, with kickoff of the 68th annual Reese’s Senior Bowl set for 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 28.

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Photos | Courtesy of Alice Marty

o it’s that time of year again, and you’re thinking of gifts for special people in your life who deserve something nice. You may want to make something for friends, a neighborhood auction, teachers, scout leaders or your own home. A beautiful dish of potpourri may be the answer. Potpourri is a fragrant mixture of dried flower petals and spices placed in a bowl or small sack to perfume clothing or a room. You probably have seen and enjoyed the fragrance of this beautiful mixture, and you may have it in your home, but you may think the quantity of this concoction you would need to make a few gifts would cost more than your holiday budget allows. Think again. The variety of ingredients for potpourri is limited only by your imagination. Look around your yard. Do you have roses, lilacs, cedar trees, eucalyptus, pine leaves, pine cones, camellias, hydrangeas or nandina bushes with berries? Variety in color and texture gives great visual appeal to your mixture. Herbs such as mint, rosemary, basil, cilantro, fennel, lavender and lemon balm are also a great addition. Dried orange or lemon slices look pretty and smell divine, as do dried cranberries, blueberries and apple slices. Take a walk in the woods; you may be amazed at what you find that would add texture. One suggestion for drying leaves and berries is to put them on a cookie sheet and bake in an oven set at 180 F. just until they are dry. The time varies from 10 minutes to two hours, depending on the items. If time permits, you can let them air dry. To dry fruit, preheat the oven to 250 F. Slice the fruit into thin pieces and place them on a cookie sheet, not touching. Bake for 1.5 hours, and then open the oven door slightly so the fruit will continue to cook but the moisture can escape. Check every 15-20 minutes until the fruit is dry. Cool for 30 minutes. Cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and ginger from your pantry are great for enhancing the aroma, as are essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass. You may even use a drop of perfume for ladies or a favorite after shave for men. Presentation is important, so place your potpourri in a container that fits the fragrance you have created. For a woodsy smell, you could use a clay pot wrapped with ribbon. For a bedroom or bath sachet, try soft, filmy lace

tied with a bow. If using glassware, there’s no limit: use a favorite dish or a beautiful champagne glass. And for a nice finishing touch, add a small, unopened bottle of essential oil on top before wrapping. A few basics to ensure your potpourri stays fresh and smells nice for months: • If you are making dry potpourri, be sure all ingredients are dried before combining them. • Use essential oils sparingly — two drops may be enough. • Orris root powder can be added to make the aroma last several months. This can be found in most craft stores. A simmering potpourri makes the house smell good and is easy to create with ingredients you may have on hand. Here is a simple recipe for that, and another using all dry ingredients:

Holiday Potpourri (for simmering)

¼ cup whole cloves ½ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 3 cinnamon sticks 2 tablespoons dried lemon peel 2 tablespoons dried orange peel 3 bay leaves Mix the ingredients and store in an airtight container. Mix 1/3 of mixture and 1 quart of water in a slow cooker or medium saucepan and simmer on low heat. Add water as needed.

Winter Dry Potpourri

2 cups dried rose petals 1 cup dried cedar or evergreen ½ cup dried nandina berries and ½ cup dried nandina leaves 1 cup dried citrus rind (lemon, orange or satsuma) ¼ cup crushed cinnamon ¼ cup crushed cloves 1 tablespoon dried, crushed orris root A few drops of your favorite essential oil Mix ingredients and store in a plastic bag or tightly sealed jar in a cool, dark place for three to eight weeks, stirring the mixture weekly. Makes about six cups. UPCOMING GARDENING EVENTS (FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC): 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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SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/22) — Things get awkward when you arrive at a Christmas party wearing the same humorous sweater as another guest. Apparently an image of Trump and the phrase “Feliz Navidad Señor Presidente” is the easy joke to make. CAPRICORN (12/23-1/19) — In an attempt to put a phony Christmas “tradition” to rest, you will quietly bury someone’s Elf on the Shelf under an azalea bush. Remarkably, it’s there you will discover a graveyard of Furbys, Tickle Me Elmos and Zhu Zhu Pets. AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — In an effort to capitalize on both its seasonal high protein content and undeniable deliciousness, you will go on an all-eggnog diet. But that warm embrace which initially feels comforting is actually acute nutmeg poisoning. PISCES (2/19-3/20) — Somehow burying your TV, abstaining from social media, wearing earmuffs to work and refusing to speak with strangers will not be enough to keep you from hearing about the College Football Playoff. There’s no joke here — just a particularly sad fact for most of the astrological chart. ARIES (3/21-4/19) — You’ll campaign to save SNL from Donald Trump after the thin-skinned billionaire declares the program’s staff to be enemies of the state. He’ll convince his supporters via Twitter that the long-standing program is now “un-American and totally crooked. Sad.” TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — Though the Satanic Temple is dedicated to the separation of church and state and not Beelzebub, those subtleties will be lost when your grandmother sees your social media post. You will be doused in holy water immediately when she arrives for Christmas dinner. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — You’ll finally clean out your desk at work in hopes of finding your misplaced business cards, but in the process you’ll find so much more — a staple remover, a calculator, dust, discarded lunch orders and not your business cards. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — You’ll be benched by your rec league kickball team when you arrive at a game shirtless. You’ll assume the punishment is for a dress code infraction, but your teammates will tell you they just don’t want to see your belly jiggle. LEO (7/23-8/23) — You’ll discover that d’Iberville and Bienville actually named Mobile after cellular phones. Your research will show that aliens actually came to Earth and showed them the technology more than 300 years ago. That also explains The Temple with its breasted sphinxes. VIRGO (8/24-9/22) — You’ll unlock the secrets of Riverside Ice by skating in a circle 100 times. What appears to be a normal rink will reveal itself to be a portal to an alternate dimension where everything is the same, except no one uses cilantro, or lemon. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) —You’ll fake out everyone when you start Mobile and Baldwin counties’ only fake news source. In order to be extra sneaky, you’ll actually call it “Fake News Gazette.” Most readers will assume the name is ironic and believe every word you publish. SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — You’ll day drink this week as temperatures briefly fall below freezing. You’ll day drink next week when temperatures again climb into the low 80s.


Semmes Christmas Tour highlights seasonal decor BY JO ANNE MCKNIGHT/CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Sponsoring advertisers include the city of Semmes and Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson. Other partners include Target, Wal-Mart and Walgreens. As Moore notes, the Semmes Christmas Tour is very much a community event, involving many volunteers and contributors from throughout the area to ensure its success. The Azalea Trail Maids, Camellia Maids and some Mary G. Montgomery High School students will be volunteering their services for the tour. Tickets cost $10 per person in advance and are available at Semmes Senior Center, Meggie B’s, Century Bank and Regions Bank, all in Semmes. Admission at the door is $12. Guests will receive a map of tour sites when they arrive at Allentown Elementary School, the starting point. Proceeds from the tour will benefit historical preservation efforts in Semmes. An extra special touch is the awarding of door prizes to lucky guests; the gifts are donated by area businesses and SWC members. The tour begins with the Taste of Semmes from 3-5 p.m. at Allentown Elementary School, 10330 Howells Ferry Road in Semmes. Eighteen eateries and specialty shops will provide samples of their favorite dishes for guests to enjoy. Those partners include Chef Rob & Co., Chick-fil-A, Chill Yogurt, Cindy’s Cakes, Dan Merritt, Foosackly’s, Ginger Chambliss Caterer, Greer’s, Hickory Pit Too, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Los Rancheros, Moe’s Original BBQ, Papa John’s Pizza, Sakura, Semmes House of Pizza, Subway, Taylor Made Bakery and Winn-Dixie. More tasting partners may be added later.

Photos | Jo Anne McKnight

he 8th annual Semmes Christmas Tour, which includes three private residences, two businesses and two parks, will take place Saturday, Dec. 10, from 3-7 p.m. The homes, all decorated in the individual style of the owners, are those of Cheryl and Ronnie Ivy, Jennifer and Darrin Chappell, and Kim and Paul Gully. Businesses featured are Meggie B’s Christmas Store, which will offer discounts and incentives, and Air Specialty Inc. Heating and Air Conditioning. Semmes Senior Center, the historic home of the Blackwell Nursery family, and Semmes Heritage Park also are on the tour, along with city of Semmes Honor Park and Camellia Park. Semmes Senior Center will be decked out in traditional fashion to highlight its historic significance and will be the venue to showcase fine art by local artists. Semmes Heritage Park, including Malone Chapel, the 1902 Semmes School and a turn-of-the-century log cabin, will hold Open House during the tour hours. Semmes Honor Park will have a thrilling light display and Camellia Park will be decked out as Whoville, with a real live Grinch played by Robert Moore. Santa, in the person of Rob Bearden, will visit various sites during the tour. The annual event is sponsored by the Semmes Woman’s Club and co-chaired by members Diane Moore and Terri Nelson. Committee members are Ann Phillips, Sharadee Davis, Betty Brunson, Mandi Robison, Miranda Wilder, Melissa Parks, Alice Baker, Leigh Quinnelly, Barbara Jennings, Linda Ryals and Jamie Tapia.


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STYLE BOOZIE move to Ono Island, but the part about how the couple discovered the island. “Mark and Charlotte stumbled upon Ono Island, Alabama, while visiting family on the Gulf Shores, and they fell in love with how undeveloped and private the island was.” I laugh every time I read “... while visiting family ON the Gulf Shores.” Maybe it’s a typo or maybe they are trying to jazz up the area. Either way, I hope to catch the episode soon so I can try to figure out what they mean.

Singin’, dancin’ and bowlin’ BY BOOZIE BEER NUES/SOCIAL BUTTERFLY


akin’ a list, checkin’ it twice, I already know if you’ve been naughty or nice, just deciding who’s going to get iced. I see you when you’re drinking, I know if you’re passed out, I know if you’ve been bad or good, so be bad for Boozie’s sake! O! You better watch out! You better not cry. Better not pour your beer out, I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town! I’m excited for the holidays, in case you couldn’t tell with my remix version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” I have a countdown to Lagniappe’s annual Christmas shindig and am patiently waiting for all the gossip about other Christmas activities! Oh, and of course the fat man in the red suit. But being only a few days into the holiday season, I don’t have all that much holiday gossip … yet! But I know all you crazy kids won’t stay on Santa’s nice list for long! But until you get your “naughty” on, enjoy these “nice” little holiday appetizers.

Singing at the Saenger

First up, Fantasia with special guests Guordan Banks and La’Porsha Renae performed at the Saenger this past Friday night. Three words: sold-out show. Some other things the spies reported, Fantasia had the crowd up dancing all night and that it was an amazing show. And th Not so quick: Fantasia wasn’t the only one who brought down the house this past weekend at the Saenger. The next night, John Prine performed with breakout folk duo Shovels & Rope. One of my more seasoned concert-going spies

said it was easily one of the best concerts he attended this year. And that says a lot coming from a guy who spends a lot of time at the Saenger and Callaghan’s. But he wasn’t the only one talking about the concert. Another spy also reported how great the the show was. She said her favorite part was when John Prine and Cary Ann from Shovels & Ropes sang in “Spite of Ourselves.” What a classic! Boozie was told the crowd was asked to hurry up and get their drink on because they would not be serving past intermission. Hmmmm. Boozie never likes for a bar to close down but maybe they were just trying to keep concert-goers from inevitably drunkenly screaming “Roll Tide!” since Alabama had just won the SEC Championship. I mean, but who are we kidding? People scream that all year long.

Changes in latitude

I try to keep y’all ahead of the game but sometimes, just sometimes I miss the before memo and have to tell you afterwards. I mean, it’s hard to keep up with all the TV shows and movies being filmed around here, so don’t get mad at me. Any who, this past Sunday night Ono Island made an appearance on HGTV’s “Island Living” show! Boozie missed the episode, but knowing HGTV, it will appear in the lineup again. The name of the episode is “Setting Sail to Ono Island,” so if you see it come up, check it out. Boozie couldn’t help but chuckle at episode’s description. No, not the part about a Dallas couple wanting to

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South in your mouth

South is off to the playoffs! This past weekend South defeated the New Mexico State Aggies in a nailbiter to move on to play in the Arizona Bowl against the Air Force Falcons. I’m no sporst expert, nor is this about sports, so that’s all you really need to know. Well, maybe you also need to know who was spotted at the tailgate beforehand. No, no movie stars, just one of Santa’s

I SEE YOU WHEN YOU’RE DRINKING, I KNOW IF YOU’RE PASSED OUT, I KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD, SO BE BAD FOR BOOZIE’S SAKE!” reindeers who seemed to have escaped and made it to the game. Well, kinda. See, there was a guy at the tailgate dressed up as a reindeer running around. Whatever floats your sleigh. The reindeer wasn’t the only unusual spotting that day. My spy also caught a glimpse of a gladiator. The most interesting thing about this gladiator is that he was missing his gladiator sandals. Maybe they were lost in battle? But regardless, he was running around barefoot. My spy was just as confused as you are. No word on whether the reindeer and gladiator will be traveling with the team to the Arizona Bowl, but if they are the team’s lucky charms we hope they’re spotted with the Jags in Tucson. Well, kids, that’s all I’ve got this week. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or just some plain ol’ Ono Island lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!

LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 |

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 ( 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) 460-4006 FX# (251) 460-4423 ( LAGNIAPPE HD December 8, 15, 22, 2016.

STORAGE DISPOSAL LEGAL NOTICE In accordance with the laws of the State of Alabama, Schillinger Mini Storage will auction or otherwise dispose of the contents of the units listed below to satisfy a landlord’s lien for unpaid rent and other charges. The auction will be held December 10, 2016 at 1550 Leroy Stevens Rd, Mobile, AL 36695 at 9:30AM. We reserve the right to refuse any bid. Unit LS578 Teneshia T Tanner
9001 Meadowview Ct
Mobile, AL 36695
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS434
Thomas Howard Jr
2752 N Barksdale Dr
Mobile, AL 36606
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS327
Stephen Hennesey
6001 Cottage Hill Rd
Mobile, AL 36609
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS420
Charles Herring
1685 Knollwood Dr
Apt 696
Mobile, AL 36609
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS574
James Emanuel
2725 Riverside Dr
Mobile, AL 36605
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS551
Shirley/Carla Anderson
6427 Airport Blvd
Mobile, AL 36608
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS442
Hunter McDaniel
8482 Southern Oak Ct
Mobile, AL 36695
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS310
Tami Gerstenschlager
2225 Leroy Stevens Rd
Apt 704
Mobile, AL 36695
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS426
Alison Sheppard
12581 Grand Bay Farms Dr N Mobile, AL 36541
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS301
Ronald Curry
6406 Biloxi Ave
Mobile, AL 3608
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. Unit LS437
Lilian Wallace
7959 Cottage Hill Rd
Apt 1304
Mobile, AL 36695
Household goods, Boxes, Furniture, Appliances, Etc. LAGNIAPPE HD NOV. 24, DEC. 1, 8, 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, at which time bids will be publicly opened and read. 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, or the RFP may be obtained at Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, 451 Government St., Mobile AL. Lagniappe HD Dec. 8, 15, 22, 29, 2016.

Deadline for legal advertising in Lagniappe HD is every Monday at 3 p.m. Lagniappe HD is distributed each Thursday. Lagniappe HD offices are located at 1100B Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604. For more information or to place your ad call Jackie at 251-450-4466. Or email at

D e c e m b e r 8 , 2 0 1 6 - D e c e m b e r 1 4 , 2 0 1 6 | L AG N I A P P E | 47

Lagniappe: December 8 - December 14, 2016  
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