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D E C E M B E R 1 9 , 2 0 1 8 - D E C E M B E R 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | w w w. l a g n i a p p e m o b i l e . c o m ASHLEY TRICE Co-publisher/Editor firstname.lastname@example.org ROB HOLBERT Co-publisher/Managing Editor email@example.com GABRIEL TYNES Assistant Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org DALE LIESCH Reporter email@example.com JASON JOHNSON Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Mobile County Circuit Court judge has sent the lawsuit between Mayor Sandy Stimpson and the Mobile City Council to mediation.
Are we reaching the end of the power struggle between Mobile’s governing bodies, or at the beginning of a drawn-out, guerilla-style war?
The Fort — a new container park-style shopping area inside the Spanish Fort Town Center — is fully leased just before its grand opening.
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It’s not just an old wives’ tale: Humidity can affect your divinity recipe and other baking and candy making.
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Baker High School became the first in Mobile County to offer an esports program after the Alabama High School Athletic Association approved it as a sanctioned varsity event this year.
Author and native Mobilian Colleen D. Scott evades the “sophomore slump” with her second novel, “Everybody Needs to Remember.”
STAN ANDERSON Distribution Manager firstname.lastname@example.org JACKIE CRUTHIRDS Office Manager email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS: J. Mark Bryant, Asia Frey, Daryn Glassbrook, Brian Holbert, Randy Kennedy, John Mullen, Jeff Poor, Catherine Rainey, Ron Sivak, Maarten van der Giessen, Tom Ward ON THE COVER: GAME ON BY LAURA MATTEI LAGNIAPPE HD Periodicals Permit #17660 (Volume 4, Issue 12) Copyright 2015 is published weekly, 52 issues a year, by Something Extra Publishing, Inc., 704 Government St., Mobile, AL 36604 (P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652). Business and Editorial Offices: 704 Government St., Mobile, AL 36604 Accounting and Circulation Offices: 704 Government St., Mobile, AL 36602. 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 704 Government St., Mobile, AL 36602. Mailing address is P.O. Box 3003 Mobile, AL 36652. Phone: 251-450-4466 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org LAGNIAPPE HD is printed at Walton Press. All rights reserved. Something Extra Publishing, Inc. Nothing may be reprinted. photocopied or in any way reproduced without the expressed permission of the publishers.
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24 Now in its 10th year, Hangout Fest promises to keep innovating.
28 34 39 42 43 FILM
“Sorry to Bother You” probably will bother you, and it won’t be the least bit sorry about it, because it is also so vivacious and oddly charming.
“The Sawbones Book,” a rollicking journey through thousands of years of medical mishaps and miracles, is not only hilarious but downright educational.
“The Sawbones Book,” a rollicking journey through thousands of years of medical mishaps and miracles, is not only hilarious but downright educational.
Part one in a two-part series on the history of the nursery business in South Alabama.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
Don’t debate, mediate JUDGE APPOINTS MEDIATOR IN COUNCIL-MAYOR LAWSUIT BY DALE LIESCH
ollowing a hearing on Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s lawsuit against the Mobile City Council last Friday, a Mobile County Circuit Court judge has ordered the two sides into mediation. Judge Michael Youngpeter tapped Michael E. Upchurch to serve as the mediator in an attempt to work out differences in the suit, which seeks to stop the council from entering into contracts unilaterally. The order comes after the two sides met in court to argue the merits of a temporary injunction to prevent the council from hiring spokeswoman Marion Steinfels. Steinfels is currently allowed to work on a voluntary basis, Youngpeter said. Attorneys for Stimpson asked Youngpeter to grant a preliminary injunction preventing Steinfels from being paid for her work while the court decides the broader issue of whether the council has the authority to enter into employment contracts without the mayor’s approval. Youngpeter admitted Friday he thought he’d be able to rule against Stimpson’s injunctive relief, but added he was given too many documents to read at the hearing to make a decision the same day. Steinfels, who was terminated at Stimpson’s request in October, had recently entered into a professional services contract with the council. Stimpson earlier vetoed the contract, but councilors overrode the veto. In the suit, Stimpson claims the council’s actions infringe on his right to appoint and contract employees to city positions, posing a larger threat to the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of the city.
In a brief filed Thursday, council attorney Wanda Cochran said Stimpson’s request for injunctive relief doesn’t meet legal standards. Specifically, Cochran argued Stimpson’s legal team failed to demonstrate Steinfels’ hiring would cause “immediate” and “irreparable” harm to the city. She echoed that argument Friday. “... I never did hear in their argument what irreparable harm would be done,” Cochran said. “We don’t believe they have one.” She singled out a portion of the mayor’s complaint discussing the council’s “attempted” hiring of Stinfels. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a case where a court has enjoined an attempt to do something,” she said. City Attorney Ricardo Woods argued the injunction would prevent the city from spending “illegal” funds. BIll Wasden, an attorney for Stimpson, told Youngpeter that by denying the injunction, the judge would be “sanctioning” the council’s action. Youngpeter disagreed, given the injunction only sought action against one contract and one person receiving the contract. “I have a hard time seeing irreparable harm,” Youngpeter said. “It seems to me this could be dealt with later.” Wasden also mentioned a proposed ordinance the council plans to consider Tuesday. The ordinance refers to city contracts and would infringe on Stimpson’s right to appoint. Wasden added it would strip the mayor of his contracting powers, which makes up at least 50 percent of the authority to do so. “It would authorize the council as the executing party on all contracts,” he said. While the proposed ordinance didn’t move the needle
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all the way to Stimpson’s side, Youngpeter said it got him “closer” to ruling on the injunction. Stimpson’s legal team called the ordinance an attempted “power grab,” but Cochran argued the intent of the ordinance is not to “disrupt or change the historical balance of the mayor’s ability to hire employees.” “The purpose is to provide transparency in contracting,” she said. “It’s not a power grab. All contracts would have to follow guidelines.” In court, Cochran said the council has reason to believe Stimpson entered into several contracts “without proper authority, or having not been signed by the city clerk.” When Youngpeter asked for an example, Cochran mentioned a $400,000 settlement payment to a company from August 2017 the council only learned about in January, when it was asked to approve the expense after the fact. “The ordinance will stop the mayor from unilaterally signing contracts,” Cochran said. “That’s what will stop it.” Both sides cited precedent for their cases from two different rulings from Prichard in 1964 and 1978. Woods also cited precedent in a case out of Fairfield and from a state attorney general’s opinion in 2001 siding with then Mayor Bobby Bright of Montgomery. In the Montgomery opinion, then-Attorney General Bill Pryor sided with Bright and found that the council could create the position of council aide, but the mayor was legally allowed to appoint an employee to the position. In addition to arguing the call for injunctive relief was unnecessary, Cochran said Stimpson’s legal team has failed to recognize Steinfels is not a city employee but a contractor, and any language referring to her appointment should not apply. “Contracts with professionals that report directly to the City Council are not city employees, are not employees in the administrative service of the city and are not subordinates of the mayor within the meaning of the Zoghby Act,” Cochran wrote in her brief. “The mayor, in ignoring the direction of the council to execute the communications consultant agreement with Steinfels in 2016, violated the Zoghby Act by attempting to characterize her as an ‘at his pleasure’ employee.” In her brief, Cochran argued Stimpson is conflating the executive’s power to appoint with the “council’s power to contract.” Stimpson and his attorneys have argued that if the council is legally allowed to execute the contract, it would cost the city money and possibly duplicate expenses because they could hire contractors to perform any number of tasks.
BAYBRIEF | LAW
FARM BILL LEGALIZES CERTAIN CBD PRODUCTS IN ALABAMA BY JASON JOHNSON
labama Attorney General Steve Marshall had to modify recent guidance his office issued on cannabidiol (CBD) products last week after changes to federal law made certain products, previously considered controlled substances, legal in Alabama. Synthesized from industrial hemp, CBD oil contains very little, if any, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound lending psychoactive properties to marijuana. The state has loosened laws in recent years so CBD products could be used to treat epilepsy and seizures. Recently, however, people across the U.S. have found CBD useful for treating chronic pain, insomnia and other conditions. Stores have continued to sell products containing CBD even though those products exist in a bit of a legal gray area in some states. The Alabama Legislature passed laws in 2014 and 2016 creating a very limited window for a small number of designated patients to treat epilepsy and other specified illnesses with CBD, but according to Marshall’s office, those laws didn’t legalize the possession or use of CBD in Alabama. Amid confusion in late November, Marshall and other law enforcement officials issued guidance on whether certain CBD oil products were legal to possess or sell in Alabama, concluding that none them were. However, with Congress’ passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last week, extensions were awarded to existing pilot programs that temporarily legalized industrial hemp production in 2014. According to Marshall’s office, the bill means “CBD derived from industrial hemp, with a THC concentration of not more than .3 percent on a dry weight basis, can be legally produced, sold and possessed in the state of Alabama.” “With regards to controlled substances, Alabama law is generally guided by the federal controlled substances regulated through the Drug Enforcement Administration,” Mike Lewis, a spokesperson for Marshall’s office, told Lagniappe. “Usually, any change would come from DEA. In this case, it was unique in that Congress itself legislated the change by basically removing hemp as a controlled substance nationally, and federal law supersedes state law on this matter.” The attorney general’s office issued updated guidance on CBD products following the Farm Bill’s passage, though Marshall did note products derived from marijuana and those derived from hemp with a THC concentration above .3 percent remain illegal in Alabama. Each state will still be able to regulate the
production of industrial hemp, though. John McMillan, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), has already said the agency will be working with Gov. Kay Ivey and the AG’s office to create state regulations. Despite the recent 180-degree shift in the law, things have been business as usual in Satsuma at CannaBama: The CBD Store. Even though establishments selling CBD in other parts of the state have been subject to police raids, co-owner Jennifer Boozer says she’s never been worried. “It’s been kind of like the wild west out here a little bit, but when people ask me if it makes me nervous, I always say, ‘Do I seem like a person irrational enough to risk my life and my children’s future for something that maybe isn’t legal?’” Boozer said. “I spoke with local police, I spoke with a DEA agent and I spoke with a lawyer before we set up the first sign.” After Marshall’s office issued its original guidance in November, Boozer didn’t exactly lay low. Ads for CannaBama: The CBD Store could and can still be seen clearly on local billboards and heard in radio spots. Boozer also maintained a state business license to operate CannaBama during that time, telling Lagniappe she’s always been confident in the legality of her CBD products because there have always been state and federal laws supporting her. Specifically, she pointed to the Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act of 2016, which removed industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana and authorized ADAI to begin researching the validity of hemp becoming a cash crop in Alabama. Even though there was a small gap between between their expiration in September and the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the previous pilot programs legalizing industrial hemp on the federal level are another reason Boozer felt comfortable continuing to sell CBD products locally. If there was some type of legal issue with her business, Boozer said, it didn’t seem to bother local law enforcement. She said her storefront is only a block from the Satsuma Police Department, and offered some of the customers she’s had since opening work in law enforcement. “We’ve never been worried about the business, but we do worry about what other people think as far as them not giving CBD any real thought because they don’t understand the law,” Boozer said. “They just continue suffering, when we know we can help them. That’s what bothers us.”
DO I SEEM LIKE A PERSON IRRATIONAL ENOUGH TO RISK MY LIFE AND MY CHILDREN’S FUTURE FOR SOMETHING THAT MAYBE ISN’T LEGAL?
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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BAYBRIEF | FAIRHOPE
A floor above
Photo | Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects
DEVELOPER SEEKS HEIGHT VARIANCE FOR HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN FAIRHOPE BY GABRIEL TYNES
he Fairhope Board of Adjustments and Appeals approved a use variance to construct a boutique hotel on “the city’s most important intersection” Monday night, but a separate variance to exceed the city’s three-story height limit was held over until its next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 24. Used for decades as a pocket park and courtyard anchored by the city’s often-photographed “Fairhope” clock, the reverse L-shaped property on the corner of Fairhope Avenue and Section Street is owned by the Fairhope Single Tax Corp. but presently leased to Black Oak Holdings of Covington, Louisiana. Property records indicate Black Oak — owned by automotive dealer Matt Bowers — paid $1.3 million for the lot and existing building in November. The building currently houses a printing business on the first floor and vacant restaurant space on the second, with the façade fronting Fairhope Avenue. The proposed building — a 10,500-square-foot boutique hotel with ground floor retail space and nine to 12 guest rooms above — would encompass the entire corner of Fairhope and Section, reducing the size of the courtyard but preserving the clock, according to designs submitted to the board. Currently zoned B-2, a hotel is allowed on the site, but it must meet certain conditions. However, current zoning allows for only three stories and a maximum building height of 40 feet. The proposal calls for a maximum height of 40 feet, but also four stories. In its report to the board, city planning staff recommended the variance denial. “Staff believes that granting of a variance to exceed the maximum of [three] stories would create a dangerous precedent that could negatively affect downtown,”
Planning Director Wayne Dyess wrote in his report to the board. “The City Council recently adopted an amendment to increase the minimum height to [three] stories and 40 feet. This amendment created an important urban design goal of proportionality of buildings. By allowing [four] stories within the 40[-foot] maximum negatively impacts the desired proportionality caused by the amendment.” Meanwhile, the use of the property as a hotel was recommended by planning staff. “The Comprehensive Plan encourages developments which contribute to the long-term vitality of downtown,” the report says. “Staff believes that a downtown hotel, with proper parking consideration, can positively affect the long-term vitality of downtown by bringing people downtown for longer periods of time and different times of the day.” Parking, which planning staff also took into account, “is a concern for the proposed use …” but “considering the limited size of the hotel … the effect on current parking will be limited.” The Fairhope Board of Adjustments and Appeals is chaired by Anil Vira, but also includes Troy Strunk, Richard Scheider, Cathy Slagle and John Avent. On Monday the board questioned why the Hampton Inn across Section Street was allowed to have four floors, and were told since its construction, the city has adopted amended ordinances. Architect Clay Adams, who has worked with several clients designing new buildings and developing existing properties in downtown Fairhope, told the board as it is planned the hotel “embraces the clock” and Bowers “wants to do the right building on the right site … something Fairhope can be proud of.” “We respect the property and the location,” Adams said.
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An applicant is seeking a height variance for a 10,500-square-foot, four-story boutique hotel in downtown Fairhope at the corner of Fairhope Avenue and Section Street. “He understands it’s the center of our town and just how important it is.” Adams said Bowers is “not a developer,” but has built similar properties in other cities across the Southeast. As envisioned, each of the guest rooms will have a different Fairhope theme and the retail space will be leased to “someone or something we think is appropriate.” “He does … unique projects he feels will make a difference,” Adams said. “Whenever he does them, he enjoys them.” Adams said the project was seeking the height variance based on hardships encumbered by the lot’s size and shape, plus existing encroachment to the north and “trying to avoid ground-floor rooms.” In recommending a denial of the variance, planning staff followed the ordinance and found no “extraordinary and exceptional conditions,” no “unnecessary hardship” and “no peculiar conditions.” But in spite of the comments in his report, Dyess told the board Monday they in fact “do not set precedent … each case is based on its own merit.” There’s no review of Board of Adjustment rulings except in circuit court but if approved, the project would also require approval from the Fairhope Planning Commission and City Council. In tabling the height variance until January, Avent said the property is on the “most important intersection we have in town.” “I don’t want to jump into a negative vote or positive vote until I review it more personally,” Avent said, noting he went to the intersection in an attempt to visualize it before the meeting. “I try to visualize this — this thing is over-thetop awesome — but my hangup is we have rules and personally, I’m torn.”
BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
“I was opposed to that and we were able to get that stopped,” she said. She added she has recently had conversations with HUD and hopes a demolition application can be submitted if one is not currently in the works. Once the MHB APPROVES HELP FROM CITY, DISCUSSES VACANT COMPLEX application is approved, the complex could be torn down as early as next year. “It’s this board’s intent to do right by the people of that community,” BY DALE LIESCH Pettway said. Eddie King, a 70-year resident of the Happy Hills area, said he’s concerned he Mobile Housing Board of Commissions master plan, Roberts told Lagniappe in a previous interfor the livelihoods of older residents in the community. (MHB) on Thursday, Dec. 13, voted to approve an view. As for the city’s side of things, the agreement would “The biggest thing is not that project,” he said. “The biggest thing is making agreement with the city to help infuse more capital give Roberts and his team more access to the board’s it livable for us. We would love to hear or see something — some money to funding into the public housing agency. financial records and could help secure more HUD funding come around here and make lives livable.” Commissioners voted unanimously to amend the agree- in the future. But Pettway said what King was asking for was not within the purview of the ment to reduce the annual fee paid to the city from almost In other business, Happy Hills residents complained $200,000 to $120,000, or $10,000 per month. The changes about the state of Josephine Allen Homes, an MHB-owned also clarify that the board can direct its own staff. complex north of downtown that has been vacant and COMMISSIONERS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY The Mobile City Council has already approved the unmaintained for years. agreement. Gary Miller, who grew up in the area, said he was conTO AMEND THE AGREEMENT TO REDUCE One sticking point came when Commissioner Norman cerned about the board’s lack of plans for Josephine Allen. Hill questioned language in the agreement that referred to “It’s been vacant for almost six years,” he said. “Our THE ANNUAL FEE PAID TO THE CITY FROM ALMOST an interim executive director. concern is that it’s an eyesore.” “This language is speaking to a position I’m not clear Miller compared Josephine Allen to Roger Williams $200,000 TO $120,000, OR $10,000 PER MONTH. on,” he said. “You’re putting language in it for a position Homes, which he said was demolished about a year after it we don’t have.” was vacated. THE CHANGES ALSO CLARIFY THAT THE BOARD CAN While it’s true there is no staff member with the posiTo clarify, Pettway told Miller a demolition application tion of interim executive director, the board agreed to give had been pending for Roger Williams for about eight years DIRECT ITS OWN STAFF.” Chairwoman Kimberly Pettway and Human Resources prior to its coming down. As for Josephine Allen, Pettway Manager Kathy Bryant signatory authority to help run the was unsure if a demolition application had ever been day-to-day operations of the authority after former Execu- submitted to HUD. board and referred him to Councilman Levon Manzie, who represents the area. tive Director Akinola Popoola was fired in September, Former MHB Executive Director Dwayne Vaughn The board also elected officers for next year. Pettway was re-elected as Pettway clarified in a phone call after the meeting. told commissioners in 2015 HUD had agreed to allow the chairwoman by a 3-2 vote. Hill and Commissioner Joyce Freeman were the Through the agreement, the city will support the authority to sell the property. If it couldn’t be sold, Vaughn dissenting votes. Freeman had previously nominated Hill for the position. Freehousing authority with the help of two grants from the said, the authority would ask “again” for the complex to be man nominated Hill as vice chair too, but he declined the nomination. Breanne U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development demolished. Zarzour was elected vice chairwoman. (HUD). The grants total $2.5 million to $3 million and are Pettway said Happy Hills was a priority for her since Pettway also answered questions related to a new executive director search. a combination of HOME and Community Development joining the board about four years ago. Growing up in She said the board hasn’t started the search yet because commissioners want Block grants, Senior Director of Community Housing and Prichard, she had childhood friends who lived there, to get the right person in place once they determine the agency’s needs. The Development Jamie Roberts has previously said. Pettway said. She mentioned a plan to sell the complex, board moved to start a search next month, but Pettway said they might have to In addition to the capital funding, the city will help the but said she helped quash it when it was determined the suspend it. She expects to help with the day-to-day operations of the board in authority assess its housing stock, as well as develop a property would be sold to industry. lieu of an executive director for about a year.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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BAYBRIEF | ORANGE BEACH
‘Enough’s enough’ ORANGE BEACH MAYOR FRUSTRATED SCHOOL SPLIT TALKS DRAG ON BY JOHN MULLEN
range Beach Mayor Tony Kennon knows he has no role in separation negotiations between the Baldwin County School Board and the city of Gulf Shores. “And I don’t want one,” Kennon said. But the longer it draws out, the more his concern is raised that Orange Beach students and its future school are being stymied by the process. “Enough’s enough,” Kennon said. “No one likes where we are. It’s time to move on. There’s no reason there should be a spitting match going on about this.” Kennon and other city officials along with members of the Baldwin County Education Coalition met with concerned parents and citizens at the Orange Beach Community Center on Dec. 12. “We had a desire to have a meeting and bring everybody together to help pull together the information and present that to the district to get answers to some of your questions,” coalition Executive Director Terry Burkle told the parents. Chief among those were the mayor’s concerns about dragging negotiations between Gulf Shores and the county. Conditions agreed upon in the finalized agreement will have an impact on students in Orange Beach, and Kennon said Orange Beach and the county can’t make any moves to adjust to those impacts until the agreement is reached. Per orders from the state superintendent, Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler can’t even talk about the negotiations. “We, the city of Orange Beach, have pretty much stayed out of the negotiations,” Kennon said. “But now it’s dragging on to the point
where it’s starting to affect us, it’s starting to affect our parents and our children.” If it is genuinely all about the children, Kennon said, the separation process should have long been settled. “This is ridiculous,” Kennon said. “To hear everybody say it’s all about the kids, this should’ve been settled three months ago.” Another meeting on the separation between Gulf Shores and Baldwin County was scheduled Monday. Details from a related news conference Tuesday are on lagniappemobile.com. As far as the new school is concerned, a construction bid from Sharp Inc. for $26 million was accepted in November. Baldwin school officials had hoped to open the school in fall 2019 — a few months after school starts — but it has been delayed to an expected opening in August 2020. Orange Beach agreed to pay for a performing arts center on the campus but it was not included in this bid. “Bottom line is the city, Orange Beach, will have about $23 million in this school by the time it’s over with,” Kennon said. “We’ll have as much as the county has in it.” Kennon says because of the financial role the city is playing in the new school, he and the City Council want facilities to compete with the best schools in Alabama. “We have to, as a community, expect excellence, hold our kids to it and hold other parents to it,” he said. “If we don’t demand excellence, if we don’t demand that we are the best in the state, then we’re not going to get it.”
BAYBRIEF | FAIRHOPE
Getting a visual
FAIRHOPE SURVEY GATHERS OPINIONS ON GREENO ROAD
BY JOHN MULLEN
itizens are generally quick to tell city leaders what they don’t like about government decisions and policies on zoning and growth. “We hear many times about what people don’t want but we don’t get to see much feedback on what people want to see,” Fairhope Planning Director Wayne Dyess said. But Dyess says Fairhope is taking the opposite approach as leaders contemplate how they want the Greeno Road area of town to look. “A visual preference survey kind of turns that upside down and we get feedback on what people want,” Dyess said. “It helps us better plan for some uses and buffers and things of that nature for certain areas of town.” The study was conducted by Hall Planning and Engineering and Christian Preus Landscape Architecture at a cost of $11,050. Part of the cost, $4,400, was funded by the Baldwin County Association of Realtors through a Smart Growth Grant and the city paid the remainder. “Greeno Road is a very important corridor and an entrance into Fairhope that really sets the tone of Fairhope, and we feel it’s very important to make sure we get this right,” Dyess said. “We have had some developments we’ve struggled with over the years with Greeno Road about how to handle those. We hope the visual preference survey will help us get a better handle on
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that.” Greeno Road is important to the city for many reasons, Dyess said, with several subdivisions along the road as well as businesses. It is also an artery for commerce. Citizens were invited to two public forums to look at images of how they’d like to see the area developed, or they could take the survey online. The City Council is considering a 270day moratorium on the filing of rezonings, site plan approvals and multiple occupancy project applications in the area while the results are being studied. The council is expected to consider the moratorium at the last meeting of the year on Dec. 20. “The visual preference survey is a method using images and pictures to look at feedback from the public,” Dyess told the council. “You use a series of images of different kinds of development, different kinds of landscaping and different kinds of lighting. You have the public vote on what they like. The purpose of this was to try and get feedback from the public on what they like, what they don’t like and how it may relate to Greeno Road and greater Fairhope.” Dyess said once officials see the results they will consider a zoning overlay district or a rezoning of the area to fit the images citizens liked most. The results of the study are expected a few weeks into the new year.
BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
Second opinion LADD BOARD DISCUSSES NEW ENGINEERING REPORT BY DALE LIESCH
add-Peebles Stadium is in “fair condition,” according to an engineering report paid for by the stadium’s board. The executive summary of the report from Cain & Associates found many areas of the 70-year-old stadium in “good condition,” but others needing repair. “The primary cause of deterioration to the steel and concrete surfaces is water infiltration,” the report notes. “This can be attributed to the fact that this is an open-air stadium in a very humid environment. Consideration should be made to future designs and repairs to eliminate conditions that promote water infiltration and erosion.” Specifically, the report finds repairs are needed to the light tower support systems, the stadium deck, stadium ramp structures, stadium ramp handrails, steel columns on the concourse level and concrete repairs. “The deficiencies noted in this report should be addressed to prevent further decline at the affected locations,” the report states. “Moving forward, an aggressive monitoring and maintenance program should be established to proactively mitigate any further deterioration.” The board’s own study was completed after Mayor Sandy Stimpson released an engineering study by Barter & Associates in 2016. That study was released in conjunction with Stimpson and the University of South Alabama’s push to have the city contribute $10 million over 20 years to a new, on-campus stadium in West Mobile. As part of the deal, the city would have received $2.5 million in return to repurpose or renovate Ladd, but the agreement was eventually voted down by the Mobile City Council. The 2016 study also put the stadium in “fair condition considering its age,” but gave it a grade of “D plus.” Ladd board Chairwoman Ann Davis has repeatedly told councilors stadiums typically aren’t given a letter grade. The 2016 executive summary pointed to “certain deficiencies that constituted an emergency,” but they were “corrected.” Like the board’s report, the 2016 report called the area’s rainfall the stadium’s biggest threat. “The biggest threat to the longevity of the stadium structures is uncontrolled rainwater,” the report stated. “Any repair plan that does not attempt to resolve the leakage will not be effective in the long term. All structures exposed to the elements are subject to gradual degradation.” In the meantime, stadium management has made upgrades around the concourses, Mishkin Group Executive Director Vic Knight told board members at a meeting Monday, Dec. 17. In addition to painting, Knight said, the bathrooms have been refurbished and lights have been equipped with new LED bulbs. Only two pages of the more than 100-page engineering report from earlier this year have been released. Davis said the rest would be released when the board receives cost estimates for other improvements. “I don’t know what we can do until we get our money,” Davis told the board. Davis said the board would like to do more
but funding for upgrades is complicated, especially with the current power struggle in City Hall. “The biggest thing is the power struggle,” she said. “They’re at a standstill.” The council added about $750,000 to the board’s allocation in the city’s fiscal year 2019 budget, but Stimpson’s finance department has only approved the board for its annual $200,000 performance contract. When asked about the discrepancy at a recent council meeting, Executive Director of Finance Paul Wesch said the city doesn’t believe the Ladd board has the authority to spend capital money on its own. Again, Davis has disputed this, saying the city has previously asked the board to be more autonomous, not less. She added the board, according to its charter, does have the power to contract. Joe Mishkin, president of the stadium’s management company, said they enter into “contracts all the time.” “We’ve entered into capital contracts out here,” he said. “That’s been going on long before we got here.” Board member and former Councilman Reggie Copeland asked his fellow board members to be careful about entering into contracts. In an attempt to get commitments for more public money, Davis said she has been in conversations with County Commissioner Connie Hudson. Davis said the county was waiting on a cost figure from the board on repairs before committing funding. She openly contemplated getting a bid for new locker rooms in an attempt to get a figure to the county. However, since USA still plans to move its football programs into its own stadium in 2020, a majority of Ladd board members seemed unwilling to look at improving the locker rooms, with other needs taking priority. While the city seems unwilling, for now, to exceed the $200,000 it previously committed to the stadium, the board’s finances are in decent shape, auditor Mark Chapman reported. The biggest blow to the stadium’s revenue in the 2018 fiscal year came from a decrease in concessions sales, which fell roughly $40,000 from 2017. The decrease can be almost directly attributed to attendance figures, Knight said. “The concession hit is the most notable thing,” he said. “You can’t sell a hot dog to someone who’s not there.” Despite a drop in concessions, the stadium was in the black for the fiscal year, Chapman said, with $76,992 in net revenue. Concessions revenue might be trouble in the future, as well, as Knight reported to the board there was a sharp decline in attendance for USA’s final two home games. “It’s the lowest we’ve seen since they started the football program,” he said. “Concessions are dramatically less.” Knight said with a better Sun Belt Conference schedule and home games against nonconference opponents Memphis and Jackson State in 2019, they hope attendance picks up.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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BAYBRIEF | MOBILE
Student services SCHOOL PROGRAMS CONNECT TEACHERS, PARENTS, THERAPISTS BY JASON JOHNSON
aking her son to the therapist used to be a lot more challenging for Deanna Jackson. With a child on the autism spectrum, sitting in a sterile, often noisy waiting room wasn’t the most comfortable situation, and a rotating cast of counselors made it difficult for her son to make a meaningful connection and open up during therapy. For a working mother with two children, taking time off from work to make a weekday appointment wasn’t ideal, either. “Now, he just comes home and says, ‘I saw Ms. Stephanie today,’” Jackson said. “He loves her.” Stephanie Pope is a licensed professional counselor who has worked one-on-one with Jackson’s 10-year-old son, Alexander, for years. But instead of missing school and having to be driven to Mobile, Alexander now only has to walk the familiar halls at Saraland Elementary School for his appointments with Pope. He is one of hundreds of local schoolchildren who receive school-based therapy through AltaPointe Health Systems on a regular basis via contracts with local school systems. Those programs, primarily funded with federal education dollars, have grown over the years. In the 2017-2018 school year, 149 students saw an in-house therapist in the Saraland City Schools system, which has just four schools. At least 84 received some type of medication during treatment, according to data compiled by AltaPointe. Reasons for those visits included ADHD, developmental disabilities, behavioral problems and depression, as well as family problems and reports of abuse or neglect. Referrals for the program can come from teachers, but some children were already AltaPointe patients outside the school setting. Either way, a student’s parents must give consent before he or she sees a therapist. It’s convenient for parents, but Pope said it’s also good for therapists and teachers to have a child’s support network working together at the school level — especially when dealing with children with special needs or those with behavioral problems that can impact the classroom. “Being here and being able to meet with the teachers, it can just really help settle some situations,” Pope said. “You’re really able to be more a part of a child’s life when you see them in their actual routine.” Superintendent Aaron Milner had nothing but good things to say about the school-based therapy program, telling Lagniappe Saraland “couldn’t do without it” at this point. He said therapists are often able to identify what a student needs to be successful, whether it’s in school or at home. “One of the biggest missing pieces in public schools is that we don’t have enough support in regards to mental health,” Milner added. “With the challenges our children face … it’s huge.” That said, one thing made clear to parents is that AltaPointe’s school-based therapists are not school employees, and — like most therapists — have no obligation to disclose information shared with them in confidence unless there’s a safety concern for that student or others. However, Pope said several of the students
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she works with have parents who want connection between the school system, the therapist and the family. Jackson said it’s been “extremely” helpful having Pope as an advocate when working with educators on her son’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) through the school system. “It’s really nice having her input, and having her there for backup at times,” she said. “It can be kind of intimidating when you go into a meeting with the principal, an assistant principal and a teacher, and there are all of these faces. To have somebody you know is on your side is reassuring.” More importantly, though, Pope said the program seems to be working well for students. According to data compiled by AltaPointe, of the 149 children receiving in-school therapy in Saraland last year, 78 showed improvement based on observations from parents, teachers and students themselves. At least one of those three sources reported improvement in another 58 cases, while only 22 students showed no progress at all during the 2017-2018 school year. Like many aspects of early education, Pope said students with highly involved parents tend to show the greatest improvements from therapy. But even for students with parents who check out of the process, Pope said, receiving therapy in a school setting can be a lot more structured. “When I’m dealing with a noncompliant parent, I always have to tell myself: ‘If they were in outpatient therapy, these kids would have probably just have been no-show appointments,’” Pope said. “So, they wouldn’t be getting anything at all.” Outside Saraland, hundreds of other students in Mobile and Baldwin counties work with AltaPointe in their schools as well. Across its entire service area, AltaPointe reports some 2,200 students in grades K-12 are enrolled in some type of school-based therapy program. Denise Riemer, director of social services for the Mobile County Public School System, said coastal Alabama is ahead of other areas as studies on student safety continue to suggest improved mental health services could help prevent school violence. While she acknowledged more can always be done, Riemer said MCPSS has been somewhat of a model district in Alabama because of mental health initiatives it has tackled for years now. AltaPointe’s therapists work in 42 of the district’s 89 schools, but there have been separate therapy programs all 12 MCPSS high schools for several years. Another school also recently took on a pilot program that invited students in the psychiatry residency program at the University of South Alabama to work with students directly. All told, Reimer said accessible therapy has been invaluable because it complements the school system’s approach to “educating the whole child.” “I think these kinds of in-school programs have really revolutionized the way we get services to children,” Riemer said. “If you go where they are, then it’s easier for everyone, and when children are socially and emotionally healthy, they’re almost always going to learn better.”
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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COMMENTARY | DAMN THE TORPEDOES
Courtroom showdown an end or beginning? ROB HOLBERT/MANAGING EDITOR/RHOLBERT@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
the show when it comes to city employees. In fact, 11-44C-21 even has language that would make councilors guilty of a misdemeanor if they do get involved in personnel matters. That’s a pretty strong indicator of what the act intended. But the councilors read things a different way. It’s hard to know where this will go. Judge Youngpeter ordered the two sides to mediation before he makes any ruling, and while that might ultimately mean a conclusion to this fight over the PR person, it’s unlikely the two sides are going to simply talk out their varied interpretations of their powers. Hopefully Youngpeter will end up making a ruling on this matter and in doing so explain why he did so in a way that will be pertinent in future dust-ups. Even if mediation is successful, if someone doesn’t finally draw a line and tell each side “this is yours,” the arguments are bound to continue. As I repeatedly point out, some factions on the City Council are so truculent the group has now operated without a president for more than a year. That attitude bleeds over into this fight. Stimpson believes he is fighting not only for himself but for future mayors of Mobile, so it’s unlikely he’s going to cede much ground either. While it is disappointing to see the two branches of city government facing off in court, I’ve come to the conclusion there’s not going to be a way of moving forward without a legal fight. Whether both sides will be willing to live with the decision is going to be the real determination of its success.
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Another example might be what’s happened in this suit itself. Councilman Joel Daves asked for his own lawyer because he was the lone dissenter when the council voted to rehire its PR director. For a reason that wasn’t really explained, Daves felt he needed his own attorney to protect him in a lawsuit in which there no penalty is being sought, and his fellow councilors voted to hire one for him at $200 an hour. So now the council has a group of lawyers joining the mayor’s gang of lawyers to fight over one PR person. Insert eye-roll emoji. Looking over the Zoghby Act — the legislation passed 33 years ago to form Mobile’s current government — it’s easy to see how the law doesn’t expressly forbid the council making its own hires. Section 11-44C-21 states: “Neither the council nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from office, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service to the city. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the members of the council shall deal with the administrative service only through the mayor. Members of the council shall not give orders to any subordinates of the mayor, either publicly or privately.” As for the mayor’s powers, Section 11-44C-37 says it’s the mayor’s job to “Appoint and remove, when necessary for the good of the service, all officers and employees of the city except those appointed by the council.” Those sections alone would seem to suggest “the framers” intended the mayor to run
can’t help wondering if we’re coming to the end of the power struggle between Mobile’s governing bodies, or are at the beginning of a much longer, guerilla-style war. A municipal Vietnam of sorts. As both sides threatened, the city’s mayor and City Council are now faced off in court. Ostensibly the reason Mayor Sandy Stimpson filed suit against the council two weeks ago is to settle the particular matter of whether the councilors have the right to contract with their own public relations specialist. But whatever ruling is eventually delivered by Circuit Court Judge Michael Youngpeter could possibly have much deeper meaning to both sides of this political battle. In simple terms, the city now needs a judge to define each side’s “turf” — to determine the boundaries of their power. But I’m not so sure a win for one side or the other is going to put an end to the struggle that has engulfed city government over these past few months. That’s because it’s a struggle that has been flaring up periodically ever since Mobile’s government was reimagined in 1985. Through all this time there have been fights over which entity has the right to carry the ball when it comes to various actions. The mayors have generally been bolder and more determined when it comes to leading the city — which makes sense given the fact that it’s hard to get seven people from diverse backgrounds and with varying political agendas to all act in accord. But multiple configurations of the City Council have challenged mayoral authority in efforts to assert themselves as the city’s true leaders. But heavy lies the head that wears the crown. And so it has been that the mayor’s office holds the political power and risk of leading, presenting ideas and setting agendas, while the councils have typically either gotten behind those agendas or been too fractured to stop them. Mayors have also been the ones to primarily take it on the nose for failures. Councilors often deal with the most rubber-meets-theroad issues the city has — open ditches, potholes, fixing up parks, etc. — while mayors have the opportunity to think more creatively about the big picture. Maybe this creates jealousy at times, or maybe the two entities just grow tired of having to ask each other’s permission. Either way, friction between our mayors and councils is nothing new. But this lawsuit is. Both sides are looking for a definitive slap down of the other from a judge who will tell them exactly what power each possesses. Whether there’s a realistic chance that’s coming, or even if it does, that the losing side will abide by the ruling is another matter. This current fight over whether the council has the right to appoint its own public relations director leads into a larger discussion about whether the council can enter into other professional contracts as they see fit. From Stimpson’s point of view, allowing the council to contract its own PR person simply opens the door to an endless variety of contracts each council member might want for his or her district. I can see Stimpson’s point there. It’s not hard to imagine the council expanding this “power” to make hires tailored to their particular desires or needs. One only needs to look back at how the mayor’s plan for the city to pony up $10 million for the University of South Alabama’s football stadium quickly blossomed into councilors’ trying to exchange support for tens of millions in community improvements to understand how things can get out of hand.
PERHAPS THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL NEED MORE INTIMATE RETREATS TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES OVER THE BALANCE OF POWERS.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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COMMENTARY | THE HIDDEN AGENDA
Outraged at the lack of outrage ASHLEY TRICE/EDITOR/ASHLEYTOLAND@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
Photo | Amazon
he last couple of years, in particular, I find myself exhausted trying to keep up with all of the things we are supposed to be offended by. Before you get offended that I am not socially aware enough to naturally be very obviously offended by all of these egregious things, I am not talking about the things we actually should definitely be offended by. I think most of us know the basics of not being an a-hole to or hurting the feelings of our fellow humans and trying to act as such. It’s the many smaller things, like singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or watching “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with your children, or not realizing that having chairs that are not extra large in your home or office can be considered a microaggression to overweight people. (All things people have actually gotten offended by in recent years.) So, trust me, I am with a lot of you in saying, “This sh*t is ridiculous. I am not playing this game.” But, my friends, you can’t just dismiss this so easily. I mean, if you haven’t extensively researched the background and comments of every owner and/or corporate board member of every restaurant chain you frequent, the next time you Tweet a picture of your favorite sandwich with the caption, “Glad I wore my stretchy pants” (also a microaggression), you could be branded by the Twitter mob as an “-ist” or a “-phobe” faster than Hester Prynne can say, “Scarlet what?” I know you just thought you were eating lunch, but you were wrong. You may try to defend yourself or say you are truly sorry and express sincere regret, but they will not care. Now you will suck, and be whatever you have been labeled as for eternity. You are not allowed to make any mistakes whatsoever in your entire lifetime, not even the smallest misstep. So you have to at least pay a little attention in this neo-Puritanological world we live in, lest you be branded as whatever and hung in the social media square while the angry mob chants until you virtually die (forced to delete your accounts and live a life in hiding, unconnected and in shame). So, considering the society we live in, where nothing is funny anymore and our children shouldn’t be exposed to any of Santa’s reindeer (except Rudolph) because they are bullies, I am stunned two children’s games produced by the Goliath Toy Company have not caused outrage and calls for bans and boycotts. And these aren’t obscure toys that have flown under the radar, either. They are top-selling games that have been heavily promoted in ads on all of the cartoon networks the kids watch, as well as by those kids who make a million dollars a year on YouTube “reviewing” toys (the amount of money they make doing this is truly offensive). The first one is called “Pop the Pig.” In this game, children are asked to take turns rolling the die. Whatever number they roll, they shove that
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many hamburgers down this poor, overweight, crazy-eyed pig’s throat. His belly is popping out of his clothes and his tongue stays sticking out, making him look like he may eat you if you don’t shove the burgers down his gullet fast enough. So they keep stuffing and stuffing him until finally his belly explodes all over the table. Gasp! Where are the people saying it’s promoting gluttony (a deadly sin!) by teaching children to shove up to 12 burgers in your mouth at a time? Or those counter-arguing that it promotes healthy eating habits because his stomach literally explodes (a teaching moment) when he is stuffed too full with unhealthy burgers? Or those saying this creates an environment where children think it’s OK to pick on those who are overweight? Or that feeding a pig beef is really kind of weird and probably offensive to several religions? Where is the outrage, people?!?! Don’t we need a panel of “experts” on cable news discussing this? I’m truly disappointed in you. And “Pop the Pig” isn’t even the worst one. I present to you “Catch the Fox,” where children also roll the die, but then put “chickens” in a shirtless fox’s pockets. After putting said “chickens” in his pockets, they then “press his head down” until his pants fall down. Let’s face it, these chickens look more like coins you are putting in the fox’s pocket until he strips down to his underwear. So, um, does that remind anyone of anything? Thankfully the children don’t have to roll the die to see who has to buy the fox overpriced champagne in the “VIP Room” for “bonus points.” But even more disturbing, once his pants fall down, all the coins, I mean “chickens,” they have gleefully stuffed in his pockets fall out and the giggling children see who can scoop up the most of his money, I mean “chickens,” and put it back in their own pockets, I mean “game boards.” If this isn’t promoting patronizing strip clubs and then exploiting and robbing these poor strippers, I mean “foxes,” after they have earned their “chickens” fair and square — well, then, Diamonds is just a “jewelry store” on Airport Boulevard. The only thing saving this game from a complete meltdown on social media is the fox appears to be male, a double standard we should be offended by. As if males can’t be strippers who are exploited. Just ask the Chippendales. Wait a minute! Chippendales … Chip and Dale? What kind of animals were those delightful little cartoons? Oh yeah, never mind, they were chipmunks, but close enough to foxes that we should most definitely be screaming that this is a dangerous hidden message being fed to our children! Am I right? No. These games are really dumb, and we should certainly be offended by that, but the lack of outrage from those who make it their mission to be outraged is outrageous. And I, for one, am offended by that.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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COMMENTARY | THE BELTWAY BEAT
‘Deep state’ 1, Donald Trump 0 BY JEFF POOR/COLUMNIST/JEFFREYPOOR@GMAIL.COM
ne of the strangest warnings issued to President-elect Donald Trump following his 2016 presidential election victory was do not mess with the intelligence community. It came just as the election shock was wearing off and Trump’s opponents began alleging that Russia “hacked” the elections. “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in early January, in reaction to Trump’s criticism of the intelligence community’s initial effort to brief him on alleged Russian hacking. Schumer’s was just one of many similar warnings directed at the president-elect regarding the intel community. And as history shows, Schumer was right. Many shrugged off the warnings, including Trump. It was a new day, an unconventional presidency and Jeff Sessions would soon be in charge of the so-called intelligence community. Sessions was a conservative populist folk hero — at least that was the perception. Let the firings begin! No longer would unelected elitist bureaucrats dictate the direction of the country. As it turns out, that’s not the way the things work in Washington. And it was probably naïve to think otherwise. The bar was set way too high for Sessions. While he is and was the godfather of the populist movement that elevated Trump to the White House — having spent years articulating the case for Trumplike policies on immigration, welfare and trade — he was not the kind of radi-
simply by exercising its “duties.” Trump could end the Mueller investigation any time he wants. He could fire Mueller personally. The attorney general is not the only executive official who can fire DOJ employees. What is the worst that could happen? Might they challenge it in court? Who has standing? If it were Mueller, would he sue? And would the Supreme Court even hear the case? None of this will happen, of course. At least it probably won’t happen during this administration. What about future administrations? If the so-called deep state collects a scalp, how might that embolden it? “We did it with Trump. Why can’t we do it with [insert future Democratic/Republican president here]?” A precedent will have been set. Ideologically, federal employees tend to align more with Democrats. It seems less likely they would get crossways with a Democratic president than a Republican like Trump. Still, Democrats may not be immune to receiving this treatment. There are Democrats, especially among those lining up for a run in the 2020 presidential election, who oppose a lot of the things your federal government does. Notably, they are outspoken against a lot of what the U.S. military does. Democrats also tend to dislike the surveillance state (with exceptions for Trump’s election campaign). There are foreseeable reasons the deep state could do what it has done to Trump to a Democratic president. Then what happens? The on-again, off-again love affair the media and other left-of-center institutions have with the FBI would be on a downswing. That might make things a little … WHEN THE VAST, UNELECTED BUmore difficult, but can it generenough public backlash to REAUCRACY — WHICH, BY THE WAY, ate stop this similar situation from KNOWS A LOT MORE THAN YOU, SILLY RUBES — playing out during a Democratic presidency? DOES NOT LIKE ITS NEW ELECTED BOSS, IT CAN The shoe-on-the-other-foot scenario might be what is reEASILY FRUSTRATE THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE quired to get meaningful reform of our intelligence agencies and SIMPLY BY EXERCISING ITS ‘DUTIES.’” the Justice Department. If you burn enough people on both sides, they will come together cal executive who could transform the Departto agree that the use of an apparent extra-conment of Justice (DOJ). stitutional apparatus with unlimited resources Sessions’ respectful and high-minded DOJ and only oversight in theory from an alreadymanagement style was ineffective in a highly marginalized president might not end well. politicized environment. After a flurry of media If a special counsel-type probe takes out pressure, Sessions was immediately marginala guy from each side, then the enemy of the ized by his recusal and the appointment of enemy becomes a friend. Robert Mueller as special counsel. Not to mention, what I have described — and There were no deliberations. It happened what is happening — is scarily similar to Third almost immediately without Trump’s say. The World banana republics where elections are only reverberations from Sessions’ recusal continue a façade. This is scary stuff. to haunt the presidency. While Trump sometimes has good instincts, Are/were there bad actors associated with being a neophyte in the ways of Washington this president? Perhaps, but elections have really put him at a disadvantage. It was obviconsequences. There are ways to deal with those ous from the get-go that when a government consequences: Supreme Court rulings, congres- machine that operates at glacier speed on almost sional funding, impeachment and elections. everything can appoint a limitless special counBut now, when the vast, unelected bureaucra- sel in a matter of days, something was up. cy — which, by the way, knows a lot more than Call it a teachable moment. However, for you, silly rubes — does not like its new elected now, the deep state is winning, and the people boss, it can easily frustrate the will of the people are losing.
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December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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BUSINESS | THE REAL DEAL
The Fort at capacity in Spanish Fort BY RON SIVAK/COLUMNIST/BUSINESS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
ccording to Angie McArthur and Jeff Barnes with Stirling Properties, The Fort — a new container park-style shopping area inside the Spanish Fort Town Center — is fully leased and scheduled to open this month. It is owned by Dallasbased Cypress Equities. McArthur and Barnes have been working on the project since 2015. Tenants include: Beakers Coffee/Sno Biz; Blues Burger; Deuce Coop; Dickey’s Barbeque Pit; Dragonfly Taco Bar; Happy Pizza; Soul Bowlz; and Tap Station. There will also be a retailer onsite stocked with official “The Fort” merchandise. The development will consist of approximately eight shipping containers that have been repurposed into functioning restaurants and shops, and will share a common open-air environment where patrons can sit and dine. Last month the Spanish Fort City Council approved the new development as an entertainment district, allowing patrons over age 21 to openly carry alcoholic beverages outdoors. This designation reportedly allows visitors to move through the shared space of restaurants and shops with alcoholic beverages. Over the last year, Stirling Properties has helped to secure more than 44,000 square feet of new leases for the retail center, adding Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, Beauty World (currently under construction next to Kohl’s), Direct Furniture, Oishi Japanese Bar & Grill and Tots2Teens Fun Salon to the diverse tenant lineup. In conjunction with the new container park, Spanish Fort Town Center is also launching The Village, a boutique retail concept consisting of small and specialty shops such as food options, fitness providers, clothing, gifts, candles, accessories and salon services.
Spanish Fort Town Center, anchored by Bass Pro Shops, Kohl’s and JCPenney, is a 230-acre premier master-planned development at the intersection of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 98 in Baldwin County. The center includes 450,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, an apartment community, hotels, banks and entertainment options. Leasing for space is currently underway. These units are located across from Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park and The Fort. McArthur and Barnes are currently in negotiations with various retailers that will add another 30,000 square feet of shopping and dining options to the center. • According to owner and founder David Nelson, Braided River Brewing Co. will be the latest brewpub to sprout in Mobile’s Central Business District. The locally owned business is leasing some 5,500 square feet on the ground floor of the 53,000-square-foot Wheeler Lofts apartment complex at 450 St. Louis St. Up to five employees will be hired when the brewpub is fully staffed. “We will be using about 1,500 square feet for a bar area and a taproom. The rest will be combination of production and storage space. We will offer canned and draft beer as well as serve a whole range of specialty beers,” Nelson said. He went on to say his family moved to the area a year ago after his wife accepted a position at the University of South Alabama. “I was a craft brewer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. When we came here, we saw some of the same excitement and energy in downtown that was happening 10 years ago in North Carolina,” he said. “I came up with the name reading a lot about the Mobile Delta and came across this term of ‘braided river,’ describing where the rivers slow down and spread
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out when crossing paths. That’s kind of what I was looking for, the idea of the ability to slow down and really enjoy something, and cross paths with somebody that I would have never talked to otherwise in this spot.” Braided River is anticipated to open next fall. • The Weavil Co. recently listed two significant industrial properties in the area, one on the Port of Mobile and one on the Port of Chickasaw. The Mobile site, listed by Richard Weavil, is directly across from the Port of Mobile on the east side of the Mobile River and consists of 1,200 front feet of deepwater access and 26 acres at a price of $13.5 million. On the Port of Chickasaw, Cameron Weavil has listed the Tecnico Corp. Facility, consisting of 2,000 feet of pier space, 120,000 square feet of warehouse space and 23 acres at a price of $7.9 million. • The Anytime Fitness franchise, with more than 4,000 locations serving 3 million members worldwide, recently announced plans to expand into Alabama, including in Mobile. Other targeted markets include Auburn, Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. Per a news release, a Saraland gym is slated to open next year. • Precision Engineering recently renovated and now occupies the historic Dodge Brothers Automobile Co., a 25,000 square-foot former automobile dealership on St. Louis Street in downtown Mobile’s historic Automobile Alley. The company has relocated all 75 employees to their new downtown headquarters.
Grant pays for Fairhope pocket park
The Baldwin County Association of Realtors recently held a ceremony in partnership with the city of Fairhope to celebrate the completion of a small park created with a $4,500 Placemaking Grant recently awarded to the association by the National Association of Realtors. Placemaking Grants are used to help Realtor associations partner with communities to plan, organize, implement and maintain local projects. Baldwin Realtors and the city of Fairhope used the funds to repurpose a space at the west end of the library into a pocket park. Renovations included a butterfly mural, seating, concrete and stone paving work, walking paths and landscaping to give the area definition and character. “Realtor Placemaking Grants aim to turn spaces into places,” Jennifer Foutch, Baldwin Realtors government affairs director said. “Baldwin Realtors are happy to have helped turn the space beside the library into a wonderful place that will benefit the community and enhance the area.”
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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CUISINE | THE DISH
Humidity versus divinity BY ANDY MACDONALD/CUISINE EDITOR | FATMANSQUEEZE@COMCAST.NET
Photo | Depositphotos.com
It’s too much trouble to cook divinity on a humid day, but for the record it can be (and has been) done.
t would be great if I were a better baker or candymaker. Perfect practice makes perfect, right? Ours is the house on the street where the neighborhood kids come and go as they please, having their way with our snacks, staying for impromptu dinners and roasting marshmallows in our fire pit. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if we are going to be THAT house, then we have to do a better job with the Christmas candy. Last year Katie knocked it out of the park with some amazing toffee and I hope there is more to come, but what I crave is, you guessed it, everything I ate as a kid. This includes pralines, magic cookie bars and the heavenly fluffy candy called divinity. This year I am taking a stab at some of those labor-intensive sugary snacks, adding to my repertoire the sweets of my childhood in an attempt to win the hearts of midtown preteens and affording me King of the Street status. Lucas already prepared a batch of what are now called Jesus
Sandwiches, the Ritz cracker and peanut butter sandwiches dipped in white chocolate, so called because my kids believe if the Christ child were here and wanted a snack, this would be his go-to. We have a point in the win category. That’s our easy one. Up next is the most difficult. Divinity requires a bit more precision. First off, I am told you should only attempt it on days when the humidity is in that “normal” range between 50 percent and 60 percent. Is this an old wives’ tale? At the guitar shop I have to monitor humidity like a hawk and try to keep it around 50 percent, running humidifiers to catch up once the heater comes on. We deal with conditions that are too dry. My house must be a different scenario. With Katie as my assistant (or perhaps I was hers), we followed a Betty Crocker recipe from the internet down to the letter. We chose this one because other recipes had too many pop-up ads. With a candy thermometer lifted from Priscilla
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Belle Jenkins and all our simple ingredients laid out (egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract and pecans), we assisted each other in stirring, boiling, beating and folding until we had this gorgeous fluffy white stuff and spooned it onto wax paper. After a quick nap I went to flip the candy per the directions, and my once-attractive confections were flat as pancakes. I checked the outdoor humidity on my phone: 96 percent. Epic fail. A good 12 hours later, the candy still had not set. I guess it isn’t an old wives’ tale after all. A quick consult of internet and I learn one way to combat elevated humidity is to cook the sugar a bit higher than hard-ball stage. If you normally hit 260 F., ramp it up to 270 F. on more humid days. But on a day of 96 percent humidity? Threatening rain? Will the higher temps work? Mom says no. “You’re crazy, Andy. It won’t work. Even the ‘never fail divinity’ recipes won’t work down here when it’s humid. I never believed your grandmother when she would tell me it’s too humid for candy until I started making my own and ruining batch after batch.” OK, so I’ve wasted a lot of time and I can’t find a plausible fix. This experiment was a mark in the loser column. I guess I’ll just make pralines instead. “That won’t work either,” she said. “You’ll have to wait for another day. Just eat your sticky divinity with a spoon or pretend it’s taffy.” The Khaki has spoken. So I have all the ingredients for praline-making: brown sugar, granulated sugar, half-and-half, even cayenne, which I planned to use to spice things up. But you won’t be reading about it in time for Christmas. It was looking like I would be baking up a few pans of magic cookie bars again. You may know them as Hello Dollies. These aren’t the “magic” cookie bars your hippie uncle makes for his annual Christmas drum circle get-together. Mine are coconut chocolate chip, great by their own merit but not a replacement for divinity. I couldn’t get past all the time and effort I’d wasted over the last dozen hours, only to find these didn’t set. There has to be a way to save them. I thought about using a hair dryer. A space heater came to mind. Finally, I decided to fire up the oven to 200 F. and slowly draw the moisture out of these flat, white, sticky disks that resembled miniature petrified cow chips. One small batch at a time, I monitored them as they became less shiny. For seven or eight minutes, I let them heat up on a cookie sheet until they became easier to work with. I scraped each blob together and stiff peaks began to form again. Pretty soon I had what looked to be true divinity! How divine! Christmas was saved. My own mother didn’t believe I could do it. The question is whether or not I would do it again. My answer is no. It’s too much trouble to cook divinity on a super-humid day, but at least I now know how to fix it if I ever screw it up again. My kids and their friends across the street once more believe in me. Faith has been restored and we can all watch “Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas” with the proper candy. The lesson is if you believe in yourself and Christmas miracles, then you can cook candy no matter what the relative humidity is, but will I be doing pralines tomorrow? Not until the rain clears out. I still expect Katie’s toffee and Texas Trash to brighten our holidays. Priscilla has her hands into some goodies as well. Watch your weather. If it’ll mess up your hair, it’ll mess up your candy. Just know how to fix it. Merry Christmas to all. I hope yours is divine.
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CUISINE | THE BEER PROFESSOR
A holiday gift guide for beer aficionados BY TOM WARD/THE BEER PROFESSOR
Photo | Facebook
Community Beer Co.’s Snickerdoodle Ale, available November through January, uses English Marris Otter malted barley to lend a distinctly bready and crackery malt-forward flavor and is infused with freshly pureed vanilla beans and whole cinnamon sticks.
hristmas is right around the corner, and if you haven’t found that perfect gift for the beer lover on your list, don’t fear, as I’ve got a bunch of great ideas to put under the tree (or in the fridge) that are sure to make them happy. First of all — beer! (It’s not that hard, really.) Get them a couple of six-packs of their favorite brews or, better yet, create your own unique six- or 12-pack from the single beers now available at
WORD OF MOUTH
Cranberries and cheese for holiday canapés BY ANDY MACDONALD
I’m still sore I made a great cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and forgot to eat it. Lucky for me almost every food magazine or blog is showing the promise of cranberries as a part of appetizers and canapés for the holiday season. Cranberries pair well with cheese, so let your imagination run wild. They’re fantastic with goat cheese, but don’t stop there. Brie is another popular pairing for this lowhanging fruit. You’ll find a recipe or two using Camembert. Almost all the recipes you find will have them sweetened to counteract their tartness, and nuts are also a popular accompaniment. We’ve loved cranberries (at least craisins)
most grocery stores (Rouses probably has the best selection). If they like local beer, Serda Brewing is running a “cans for Xmas sale” — $20 for a case of Serda beer, mix and match the six-packs — available at the taproom only. If they like draft beer, get a growler they can have filled at Serda’s or one of our other local breweries, or even at some grocery stores, including Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods.
in our salads but they also work well with pork loin or roast in hot savory dishes. I love it when they pop! Cranberries and almostripe pears cure my tart tooth and sweeten up when cooked. Don’t shy away from cranberries in the beverage department. They’re great in orange juice or champagne or both. Use them as an ingredient or garnish, but use them. We don’t see them the rest of the year. Create your own recipes, copy someone else’s, but keep your mind open. Ready or not, the holidays are here and I’m finally in the spirit.
Fuzzy’s Tacos shuts down Old Shell location
We got a couple years out of it, but Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at 5713 Old Shell Road
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If you (or the gift-getter on your list) are really into the holiday spirit, there’s a wide variety of holiday-themed beers and beer collections. The Boston Beer Co. always puts out a host of winter styles, including its White Christmas, a nicely balanced white ale. If you like spiced ales or witbiers, it is good — not too strong or heavy, but with some noticeable spice notes. Sam Adams also puts out a seasonal variety pack with a “holiday” porter, a chocolate bock, a malty winter lager, its Old Fezziwig Ale (a malty fruit and spice beer), its Sam ’76 light ale (just named by Wine Enthusiast as one of the 25 best beers of 2018) and its flagship Boston Lager. A number of other craft breweries also put out seasonal winter or holiday brews, including Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Co., which has a special dark Christmas Ale this year, and Texas’ Community Beer Co.’s Snickerdoodle Ale, with cinnamon and vanilla flavors. Locally, Fairhope Brewing Co. has two holiday-themed beers on tap and for sale to-go in crowlers — the There’s Something About Merry imperial stout as well as a gingerbread stout. Fairhope Brewing also has special holiday T-shirts for sale in the taproom — wishing everyone “Hoppy Holidays.” Beer swag is, of course, another great gift idea for the beer lover on your list. All our local breweries sell T-shirts, hats, pint glasses and other paraphernalia emblazoned with their logos. Send your brother-in-law in Portland, who thinks only the Northwest has good craft beer, some gear from one of our lower Alabama breweries. If you can’t decide, most also offer gift cards. But what if they already have their Fairhope, Serda, Haint Blue and Big Beach T-shirts, hats and glasses? Well, then, check the internet and order a shirt from that brewery you visited in Nashville or, if you’re more adventurous, sign them up with Shirts on Tap, where (for $18 a month) they would get a shirt from a different craft brewery each month. (Info at shirtsontap.com.) Finally, there is the beer of the month club — it’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. There are actually a bunch of them, geared to different tastes and budgets. Most send a dozen beers a month, usually along with tasting guides or newsletters. The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club (beermonthclub.com) has five different membership levels, ranging from $43 to $53 a month, based on the types of beers selected, while The Original Craft Beer Club (craftbeerclub.com), which focuses on small, independent brewers, is $42 per month. Merry Christmas!
is no longer with us. Known for its fresh ingredients and Baja-style tacos and burritos, the family-friendly restaurant also served ice-cold beer and margaritas with indoor and outdoor dining. Now it sits with a “For Lease” sign and an empty parking lot. Opened in November 2016, there was a little bit of an identity crisis at that location directly across from the University of South Alabama campus. One minute you ordered at the counter, another minute there was wait staff. I’ve enjoyed a taco or two there. They will be missed.
Taco Bell introduces new burritos. Coincidence?
Despite the closure of Fuzzy’s, the taco and burrito world is still going strong as evidenced by Taco Bell introducing two new
giant burritos to its $1 menu, as well as $5 Cravings Box meals. Early in 2018 Taco Bell announced it was beefing (pun intended) up its value menus with 20 new items for $1. The two new Grande Burritos — Chicken Enchilada and Three Cheese Nacho — will round out that promise Dec. 27. The Chicken Enchilada Burrito delivers seasoned rice, shredded chicken, red sauce, low-fat sour cream and cheddar cheese. The Three Cheese Nacho is full of seasoned beef, nacho cheese sauce, red tortilla strips, lowfat sour cream and three-cheese blend. Wait a second, I’m counting four cheese products. Don’t sell yourself short, TB! You’ll have to wait for Christmas to wrap (pun intended) up, but these could be good New Year’s hangover helpers. Recycle!
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Local schools competing in Alabama’s inaugural esports season
Rocket League is a bit simpler. It’s basically a 3-on-3 soccer match played with rocket-powered cars, and, like state playoffs, Alabama’s newest high school the other two games, is easy to pick up but can take years sport isn’t much different from traditional to master. All of the games PlayVS hosts in 2019 require sports, but instead of meeting opponents on a teamwork, communication and varying levels of strategy. field or court, these students will be clashing Chou said those types of team-based games were inhead-to-head in online video games. cluded because of the skills players can develop, while othThe Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHer titles — including popular shooter games like Fortnite SAA) approved esports as a “sanctioned varsity event” and Counter Strike: Global Offensive — were intentionally earlier this year. Beginning in 2019, students from 30 excluded because of their violent subject matter. high schools around the state will be competing in three “[These games] are teaching the players teamwork. popular video games — League of Legends, Smite and They also each have some hand-eye coordination and Rocket League. The skill set is different, but like elite football, basket- multitasking involved. Students are using a keyboard, a mouse and a headset while having to work with two ball or baseball prospects, some of the students who will to four other teammates,” Chou said. “At the end of the fill esports rosters have been developing their individual day, it’s bringing kids together and having them work to talents for years. The final roster won’t be set until the season begins, but accomplish a common goal, and any time you can do do that, it’s a good thing.” Peyton Leonhardt is expected to play an integral role on Baker High School is the only school in Mobile the team Baker High School fields to compete in League of County with a team registered to play in the 2019 esports Legends this spring. season so far. But across the bay, students enrolled in “I’ve been playing [League of Legends] for probably Baldwin County Virtual School will about seven years,” Leonhardt said. participate as well. “My older brother and his friends Some professional teams and were playing it, so he showed me. collegiate-level esports clubs put It took me at least a year and half of thousands of dollars into their faciliplaying before I felt confident playties, but with high school programs, WE’RE HOPING TO REACH A ing against people consistently.” the cost of participation should be Around the state, school-sancGROUP OF STUDENTS THAT less than other sports. tioned esports has been welcome A $64 fee is all that’s required of AREN’T PARTICIPATING IN news to young gamers such as students to participate each season, Leonhardt, but there have been OTHER SPORTS AND GIVE THEM and though teams are required to mixed reactions among some older play matches at their respective Alabamians — many of whom THE SAME OPPORTUNITY TO schools, many schools are making either haven’t picked up a video REPRESENT THEIR SCHOOL use of existing computer labs on game controller since the days of campus. Super Mario Brothers or have never AND HAVE THAT PASSION AS When the 2019 season kicks picked one up at all. off in February, teams will play a A FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL OR AHSAA Assistant Director best-of series against an opponent Marvin Chou acknowledged some BASEBALL PLAYER. from a different school each week, disapproval, but said esports are but there’s no set schedule of oponly going to continue to grow in ponents. Instead, PlayVs uses a popularity. While it may not be what dynamic system that sets matches between schools with a some people think of as a sport, he also believes esports similar record throughout the season. can offer students the same social and character benefits State playoffs are expected to start in May, and the as traditional sports. first champion should be crowned by the end of that “We’re hoping to reach a group of students that aren’t month. However, because esports is not yet considered a participating in other sports and give them the same op“championship sport” by AHSAA, Chou said the winning portunity to represent their school and have that passion team’s trophy won’t be the familiar blue plaque in the as a football, basketball or baseball player,” Chou told shape of Alabama. Lagniappe. “There are a number of students that either With the global popularity of esports rooted in the don’t want to — or can’t — get out on a field or court ability to livestream events over the internet as they’re who could actually participate in this.” happening, ASHAA is hoping to offer schools an option to stream their matches in the future using the same New player approaching NFHS system that broadcasts postseason games in many While high school esports is an uncharted area, the other sports. National Federation of State High School Associations Taking a cue from professional esports events, Chou (NFHS) has established a partnership making it easier and said AHSAA hopes to bid out the right to host its state more platatiple for states to participate. championship game in the future so it can be played at The digital infrastructure needed for competitions is neutral venues with an arena and large screens for players being provided through a contract with PlayVS, and since and spectators. NFHS approved esports as a sanctioned activity at the na“We’d love to host it here in Montgomery, but we’re tional level, member associations in more than 15 states still trying to find a facility that would be appropriate,” have either launched or approved high school programs. he said. “Movie theaters are very good for these kind of Several states, including Alabama, had originally things, but you need enough seating and a stage to put planned to begin esports in October, but Chou said they that type of atmosphere together.” were delayed because PlayVS was only offering one game at a time, League of Legends. The company has Baker High School esports since added support for Smite and Rocket League. Principal John J. Poiroux is far from a gamer, but it’s In League of Legends, a five-person team uses “chamhard to miss his enthusiastic support for Baker’s esports pions” with unique abilities to attack an opposing team’s students. While it’s not “the Nintendo [he] grew up on,” base while defending their own. While it has a different aesthetic, Smite is essentially based on the same concept. Poiroux said he doesn’t have to understand details to see
ROM THE PRACTICES TO THE GAMES AND
Illustration | Laura Mattei
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the value in what the team is doing. When the AHSAA pressed pause on its deal with PlayVS earlier this year, Poiroux approved the school funding needed to allow Baker’s team to play in another league. It wasn’t sanctioned by AHSAA, but it allowed the team to gain experience playing League of Legends matches against others high schoolers. They went 3-5 but managed to beat the only other school from Alabama. “Research has proven that when children are involved, they’re much more successful, and we do everything possible to make sure all of our kids have something they can be involved with,” Poiroux said. “I value what those kids do, but just like everyone else, I expect them to be the best. I’ve already told them, ‘I want to see y’all win us a state championship.’” With the administration on board, Baker didn’t have to look far for faculty members to coach the team. Journalism instructor Justin Tolbert and math teacher Chris Hanson have played games most of their lives, and Tolbert has played League of Legends for the last seven years. Now Tolbert is putting his enthusiasm for the game into coaching the team, and despite what some would expect, there’s plenty for an esports coach to do. At practices, Tolbert and Hanson give tips and help strategize but also jump in themselves and play in scrimmages when there’s an odd number of students. Schools using the PlayVS format can also review archived footage of upcoming opponents’ previous games. Leonhardt said Tolbert often makes spreadsheets of opponents’ skill levels and prefered champions for the team to study — something they “talk about all the time during the season.” When Baker first made the announcement it was looking for students to participate in an esports program, Tolbert said about 19 students expressed interest. As AHSAA suggested, some of those students “might not have been involved” in other activities at the school, but others were. According to Tolbert, one football player had to quit the esports team because the practices overlapped, and another student couldn’t meet after school two days per week because of marching band. After the initial season was delayed, those early numbers dwindled even more. Today, Tolbert said there are only nine full-time members on Baker’s team, but he’s hopeful more students will come on board once the program moves into its first official season. Like Poiroux, Tolbert agrees esports have the ability reach a population of students who otherwise may see school only as place to come study, pass tests and leave. But he said esports are also helping bring different types of students together because of their shared interest in video games. “Under any other circumstances, we probably wouldn’t have all these same kids together,” Tolbert observed. “We even had some [English as a second language] students come in, and none of the other students really knew them. Of course, they couldn’t communicate very well, but once we got in the game, it didn’t matter whether they could speak English or not.”
COVER STORY multiple countries offering nearly $10 million in scholarship opportunities to esports players. Some are smaller, more tech-focused schools, but others are mainstream U.S. universities with powerhouse programs for traditional sports, including Ohio State, Penn State and the University of Wisconsin. That’s another reason Chou said AHSAA couldn’t just ignore esports. “These people are out there,” Chou said. “Colleges are building esport arenas to have these kids come on board. I can see a kid who’s interested in doing this becoming a computer engineer — and as you know, there’s plenty of jobs out there in that area.” Alabama’s premier college sports hubs — The University of Alabama and Auburn University — both have esports clubs as well, though neither are official functions yet. Perry Bunn, a senior majoring in computer science, is the president of Auburn’s Esports club, which he co-founded as a freshman. Bunn said, at times, Auburn’s club has boasted nearly 100 members and fielded up to eight teams competing against other COLLEGES ARE BUILDING ESPORT colleges in various video games. ARENAS TO HAVE THESE KIDS COME One of those teams made an unsuccessful run in the Collegiate ON BOARD. I CAN SEE A KID WHO’S INTERESTED Rocket League National Championship tournament this fall. IN DOING THIS BECOMING A COMPUTER ENGI“It’s been interesting to meet NEER — AND AS YOU KNOW, THERE’S PLENTY OF all these different people who want to play or who just want to JOBS OUT THERE IN THAT AREA..” be involved in the club,” Bunn said. “Auburn’s esports club is so diverse. I’ve met internationrebroadcast on TBS — the same network that al students from across the globe that I would stopped broadcasting Atlanta Braves games have likely never met otherwise.” because of a slump in national ratings. For all its growing popularity, there are still One person who can attest to the growth of some who aren’t thrilled to see esports join esports is Dustin Mouret. A 2008 graduate of the ranks of traditional high school sports. But Alma Bryant High School, Mouret has found for what it’s worth, esports just happens to be a relatively steady side gig freelancing as an the name that stuck, and most players balk as esports commentator. much as their detractors at the idea of being Most every major esports livestream has called an “athlete.” many of the same trimmings as any other Tolbert said he heard a local talk radio host sports broadcast, including color commentary, take a few minutes last week to skewer the stats and replays. Mouret has been able to take idea of video games being considered a high on commentating roles for events in the U.S., school sport, and he’s heard others express Canada and several European countries. some skepticism about the idea as well. “Some work for me involves covering However, he believes most of that is rooted online tournaments and leagues from home, in a lack of understanding. while others have involved me traveling and “All esports are video games, but not all working onsite for bigger tournaments,” video games are esports. When people think Mouret said. “The [esports] industry is still about video games, their first thought is usuvery competitive, and any job as a freelancer is ally things like Mario... or they go to the other stressful, but at least today it is a viable pursuit, extreme and think of Grand Theft Auto, but where in years past it was simply a hobby.” that’s not what the kids are playing,” Tolbert For a select group high schooler players, said. “They’re doing something extremely esports could also be the key to a college competitive. There’s a lot of strategy, there’s education. According to PlayVS, there are strategic communication and there’s absocurrently 200 colleges and universities in lutely a learning curve to it.”
A global phenomenon
Competitions between players are as old as video games themselves, but the 1980 Space Invaders Championship is often cited as the first esports event. There were more than 10,000 participants at regional events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and New York. It’s hard to overstate the growth in popularity esports has enjoyed since. Today it’s the fastest growing sport in the world, with a yearly global audience comprising close to 500 million fans. League of Legends alone has an active player base exceeding 80 million, with an average of more than 27 million people logging on every day. That doesn’t include the millions of people who watch the action but don’t play. The 2018 League of Legends World Championship drew more than 200 million simultaneous live spectators, and sections of Rocket League’s world championship were
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Bayside YA novel dives deeper BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
uthor and native Mobilian Colleen D. Scott evades the “sophomore slump” with her second novel “Everybody Needs To Remember,” a bucolic reverie that lures in readers, then focuses on the perils of social stigma. Scott’s first young adult (YA) book, “Everybody Needs A Bridge,” takes place in an unnamed Alabama city that is obviously Mobile. It centers on self-discovery and our counterproductive yet self-enforced racial and social divisions. This second work follows Connie, a reflective eighth grader who lives in a rustic coastal town with her creative, eccentric and divorced mother. Connie and her best friend, Tara, stay occupied fishing, wandering the woods and walking crushed-shell roads under Spanish moss-draped oaks alongside the bay. They befriend a reserved but moody new boy, Mason, who relocated from a blue-collar bayou town over the bay. The trio are content hunting blackberries, constructing hideaways or painting and making jewelry on Connie’s screened-in back porch. Early chapters sound part-Mayberry, part-Mark Twain, especially a funny incident involving a four-footed interloper who enters an open church window during Sunday services. “And then, with Pastor Rob’s words ‘… and all will be forgiven’ still hanging in the air, all hell broke loose,” Scott begins the bedlam. It isn’t all enchantment, though. Connie is aware of her mother’s emotional spells that keep her in bed for weeks while the youngster manages the household as best she can. And as small towns are, there’s always the gossip, the rumors and nosiness.
Students from six South Alabama high schools participated in the 2018 Alabama Region One competition of Poetry Out Loud (POL), an annual recitation contest for high school students sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The event took place Dec. 7 in Bernheim Hall at the Ben May Main Branch of the Mobile Public Library and was organized by the Mobile Arts Council (MAC), which coordinates POL activities in Region One in partnership with the library and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Students competed in two categories, reciting either original poems or poems selected from the official POL anthology. First-place original poetry winner was Courtney McLen-
don of Mary G. Montgomery High School. First-place anthology poetry winner was Mikaela Boecher from Gulf Shores High School. Photos of all the winners are on MAC’s Facebook page. The eight Region One winners will travel to the state contest, to be held Feb. 18 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. The winner of the state anthology competition will move on to April’s national contest in Washington, D.C., where the top prize is $20,000.
Innovative holiday experience at Saenger
New Orleans natives Ian and Eleanor Carney met as teens in ballet class. The careers carried them to New York and while dancing in Twyla Tharp’s “Movin’ Out” on Broadway, Ian met Corbin Popp. Both discovered a mutual intrigue with technology to match their
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BEFORE LONG, A HIGH-PROFILE MURDER OCCURS AND THOSE CLOSEST TO CONNIE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCANDAL. DRAMA HEIGHTENS AS ARRESTS ARE MADE, CHARACTERS DISAPPEAR AND A JURY IS SELECTED.” “It’s still difficult for individuals to be forthcoming about their emotional challenges,” clinical psychologist Dr. Brooke Myers Sorger told NBC News in 2018 in a segment about stigmas. “I wanted to focus on internal struggle — ‘Can I be mad if relatives are mentally ill?’ ‘Can I be mad at people who died and we don’t know why?’ And being mad at people who try to help, because that can be a small-town thing too: ‘let me help you so I can get all up in your business and tell everybody all about it,’” Scott said. Owing to the ages of its protagonist and her friends, the book could appeal to middle schoolers. Heartbreaking stats indicate the story would prove just as vital as reading about a school for witches or sparkling vampires.
artistic bent. After they discovered a product called “EL wire,” an idea was sparked. Their wives agreed to a joint effort combining puppetry, shapes and design in making light-based neon creatures on a darkened stage. The result — Crescent City-based Lightwire Theater — brings innovative theatrical experiences to international audiences. The troupe has appeared in Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, Belarus, China and Abu Dhabi, and in Paris. The amalgamation of music, dance, puppetry and visual wonder will appear in Mobile when Lightwire brings “A Very Electric Christmas” to the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.) on Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m. for a two-hour extravaganza. The show is presented by Classical Ballet of Mobile, Gulf Coast Auto Group, and Hargrove and Associates. Tickets are $24 for adults, $13.50 for
children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Mobile Civic Center and Saenger Theatre box offices or through Ticketmaster. Major credit cards and cash are accepted.
Bicentennial murals to be unveiled in Fairhope
Fairhope artist Dean Mosher created murals for the Alabama State Bicentennial to be displayed at the Eastern Shore Art Center (401 Oak Ave., Fairhope) from Jan. 4 through Feb. 23. Two of these — “Battle of Fort Mims” and “Tribute to the Merchant Marine” — will be unveiled for public viewing during the Jan. 4 First Friday Art Walk. Other Mosher works dealing with Alabama history and culture, along with art and historical artifacts, will be displayed. For more information, go to esartcenter.org.
Poetry contest winners bound for Montgomery
With a rash of robberies, town suspicions turn to the newest arrival and easiest target: Mason. Before long, a high-profile murder occurs and those closest to Connie are in the middle of the scandal. Drama heightens as arrests are made, characters disappear and a jury is selected. These events aside, the book’s themes are inner turmoil and those who need help but don’t seek it. There’s a wonderful analogy as Connie sits onshore watching locals madly scramble during a jubilee, a spontaneous phenomenon where hypoxic conditions drive sealife into shoreline shallows. “The panic of the sea creatures made me queasy … what bothered me was how they were caught … driven to their death by an unidentified force. Their only mistake was their attempt to escape it. To me, taking advantage of their desperation felt wrong.” It later becomes obvious those without gills are also driven to destruction by circumstance. Though Scott’s writing was fine previously, it is tighter in this novel, more focused. Her storytelling is better and she’s content to let some loose ends dangle, just as life does. Initially it feels timeless, with setting and activities that could have taken place anytime over the last century or so. It’s not technology dependent, with only the barest mention of even television. Scott drew on her own 1970s childhood vacations with relatives on Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore, even the aforementioned church chaos. “Downtown Fairhope was just a little-bitty town with an ice cream shop and shoe store and all that stuff,” Scott said.
Then I realized its appealing technological absence also dated it. Sociological warts — small-town gossip, adolescent bullying — weren’t as pervasive or vicious as they’ve become in the social media age. As the rise of anti-bullying campaigns and child suicide testify, it’s worse now. Other parts will ring familiar to locals, too, especially the murder case and its components. Hint: Lagniappe drew from the same well years ago. What’s best is the book’s illustration of mental health pitfalls without didacticism. It shows, not tells. A 2017 National Institute of Mental Health report estimates one in five Americans (44.7 million in 2016) lives with a mental illness of various degrees in any given year. Of them, only 43 percent (91.2 million) seek help. Treatment is lowest (35 percent) among those aged 18-25.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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Photo | Facebook
he recently announced lineup for included such bands as Trey Anastasio Band, Zac next year’s Hangout Music Festi- Brown Band, John Legend, The Flaming Lips and val (May 17-19) might have quite Ben Harper & Relentless7. Even with the Deepa few enthusiasts putting weekend water Horizon oil spill fresh in the Gulf of Mexico passes on their Christmas lists. and a Sunday morning weather evacuation of the In late November, the festival festival grounds, Hangout Fest made a great first revealed headliners would be impression. Travis Scott, The Lumineers, Khalid, Vampire The following year featured festival regulars Weekend, Cardi B and Kygo, who will join an Widespread Panic as well as iconic singer-songabundance of other stellar acts for a weekend of sun writer Paul Simon. However, those returning to and fun in Gulf Shores. Hangout found EDM acts added to the lineup. The 2019 Hangout Music Festival will mark its As the years passed, the lineup and the artist 10th year. For a fleeting moment, many veterans selection process has remained the same, even thought the celebration would move to Florida, though the music featured has evolved. Ultimately, as the conclusion of Hangout Fest 2018 brought O’Connell said, Hangout Fest wants to feature a media rumblings of the festival’s possible relocalineup of musical acts and styles that are currently tion to Panama City Beach. When asked about those popular, no matter the genre. Judging from the rumors, however, festival director Sean O’Connell crowds, this formula has been a success. was quick to express his gratitude and appreciation “I want a program that’s important in the mofor the small beach town the festival calls home. ment,” O’Connell said. “We are so fortunate to have what I think is the As far as the contrast between the inaumost amazing music venue in gural and current lineup, the world in Gulf Shores, AlaO’Connell noted popular bama, but it is also a town of music changes over a 10-year 8,000,” O’Connell said. “With period. He notes punk and that said, I’ve never seen a disco were popular 10 years rumor so rabid in my life.” after Woodstock. O’Connell THE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED Ten years ago, Hangalso noted binge culture out owner Shaul Zislin and consumers have changed LINEUP FOR NEXT YEAR’S promoter A.J. Niland lay the the music industry. With HANGOUT MUSIC FESTIVAL groundwork for this beachside outlets such as Apple Music wonder of the music festival and Spotify, O’Connell said, (MAY 17-19) MIGHT HAVE world. When the gates opened, consumers have thousands Hangout Fest welcomed the of newly released songs each QUITE A FEW ENTHUSIASTS masses to a unique beachside day from which to choose. PUTTING WEEKEND PASSES setting focused on creating “How people listen to an unforgettable experience music has completely changed ON THEIR CHRISTMAS LISTS. for everyone. O’Connell was from when we started the there for the festival’s inaugufestival to even three years ral year, but said he worked ago,” he said. “Four years ago, more on sponsorship, markethow many people had Spotify ing and branding. In 2013 he took over as director. or Apple Music? I don’t even think Apple Music O’Connell has watched as each new generation was around four years ago. We’ve literally seen a flocked to Hangout Fest’s beachside stages. He has complete change in how people consume and enjoy also been instrumental in instituting changes both music, which I think is amazing. I think it’s putting onstage and behind the scenes. Even though it has opportunities out there for young artists to rise to evolved musically and structurally, the original con- the top. I love that.” cept that brought Hangout Fest to life still remains. O’Connell is one of those people giving young “Our vision is huge,” said O’Connell. “We artists an opportunity to rise to the top. His “in the want to create the best festival experience in the moment” ideology and attention to contemporary world. What I mean by that is that we want to artists and consumer trends has resulted in a 2019 create a destination that people come to celebrate lineup featuring a diverse array of today’s and summer, celebrate friends, celebrate fun and celtomorrow’s hottest music acts from all walks. And ebrate music.” the notion that a person only listens to one genre of For the festival’s inaugural year, the lineup music is impossible for O’Connell to conceive.
BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
10 years in, Hangout Fest promises to keep innovating
The Hangout Music Festival draws nearly 40,000 music fans and support staff to Gulf Shores for three days in May. “With the generation coming out, I don’t think most fans think in terms of genre,” O’Connell explained. “That’s generational. If you’re someone who thinks, ‘I just want some rock ‘n’ roll,’ that’s a concept I can’t wrap my head around, and most people seldom do.” O’Connell said working behind the scenes to make this a memorable festival has changed since the inaugural year. In the early years, he would receive a phone call in December to plan the event in May. Now planning Hangout Fest has become a year-round job. Even though it’s more intense, O’Connell said the organizers’ constant mission is improvement in both the festival’s footprint and features. As far as what the festival has in store for its 10th anniversary, O’Connell wants it to be a surprise, but said organizers are constantly “dreaming up” new concepts, adding last year’s changes were an encouraging experience. “This was the first year where the stuff that we dreamed up really connected,” O’Connell said. “Sometimes you’ll just fail because the concept that you dreamed up didn’t work or the execution wasn’t great. This year was just fantastic.” New attractions in 2018 included roller disco, “Camp Hangout,” new beach clubs and a tropical spa. Weekend passes are on sale now with VIP, Super VIP and Big Kahuna options available. Hangout Fest also features an “EZ-Pay” installment payment option. Shuttle passes are currently available as well. Visit hangoutfest.com for more information.
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Country Kitchen BY STEPHEN CENTANNI/MUSIC EDITOR/SCENTANNI@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
Band: Muscadine Bloodline, Koe Wetzel, Jordan Fletcher Date: Friday, Dec. 21, with doors at 7:30 p.m. Venue: Soul Kitchen, 219 Dauphin St., soulkitchenmobile.com Ticket: $17-$37.50; available at venue website, Mellow Mushroom (Mobile locations) or by calling 1-866-777-8932
Photo | Facebook | Muscadine Bloodline
hristmas has arrived. Throughout the weekend, many of Mobile’s expatriates will be arriving home to celebrate the holidays with their families. Country duo Muscadine Bloodline will be accenting their own Christmas homecoming with a special performance at Soul Kitchen. They’ve also included a couple of out-of-town guests they feel their local fans will enjoy. Just a few years ago, singer-songwriters Charlie Muncaster and Gary Stanton were playing around Mobile County relatively unknown. But they subsequently pooled their talents into Muscadine Bloodline and have become one of the area’s greatest recent successes. Through national tours and radio play, the band has become one of several ambassadors of Mobile’s now-burgeoning country scene. Their Soul Kitchen audience can look forward to hearing acoustic-based modern country with a classic edge and beautiful harmonies. Two country up-and-comers will open the show. Koe Wetzel’s vocal and lyrical work is undeniably country. However, his arrangements are adrenalized, with edgy rock riffs and breakdowns. Jordan Fletcher will complete this modern country Christmas pageant. Fletcher has been promoting his latest single, “Cover Song,” which features his smooth baritone vocals, reminiscent of Don Williams. He balances this classic aspect with songs from the same neck of the woods as Brantley Gilbert and Jason Aldean.
Bring out your Dead
Band: The Stolen Faces Acoustic Show Date: Thursday, Dec. 20, 6:30 p.m. Venue: Page & Palette, 32 S. Section St. (Fairhope), pageandpalette.com Ticket: Free In the days leading up to Christmas, people will be making a mad dash to find that perfect lastminute gift. But local Deadheads seeking a more relaxed shopping experience can venture to Page & Palette in Fairhope for a special acoustic show by Nashville band The Stolen Faces. The Stolen Faces could be considered the Southeast’s premiere Grateful Dead tribute band. The group features Lost Cause Minstrels/Kung Fu Mama alum Christian Grizzard laying his bass alongside Nashville session artists Jack Silverman (guitar), Jeff Malinowski (guitar), Matt Martin (drums) and John Wallum (keyboard). For this special holiday performance, The Stolen Faces will perform the Grateful Dead’s classic live, acoustic double album “Reckoning,” which features such iconic tracks as “Ripple,” “Cassidy” and “The Race is On.” The band’s knack for providing sonically accurate renditions of Dead songs may be the perfect antidote to the holiday shopping frenzy.
Blast from the past Band: SarahRose Marie Date: Friday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m. Venue: The Listening Room of Mobile, 78 St. Francis St., thelisteningroomofmobile.com Ticket: $20 artist donation; call 251-367-4599 The Listening Room of Mobile will offer the Azalea City a bawdy Christmas present in the form of Crescent City diva SarahRose Marie. For this performance, she will be bringing Nathan Lambertson on upright bass and St. Louis Slim on drums to keep the rhythm throughout this offbeat performance. This talented artist will wrap her crowd in a colorful blanket of sounds inspired by the early 20th century. When not joined by guest performers, Marie’s musical weapon of choice is the ukulele. Whereas many who take on this instrument fill the air with generic strums, Marie brings a collection of ragtime blues and jazz. The crowd will fall in love with her tongue-in-cheek lyrical work and her rich, seductive voice pulled from the past.
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December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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AREAMUSIC LISTINGS | December 19 - December 25 Please send upcoming music to listings@ lagniappemobile.com by MONDAY before Wednesday’s paper.
WED. DEC 19 Bluegill— Matt Neese Blues Tavern— Chris Gamble Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Ryan Balthrop, 6p Callaghan’s— Phil & Foster Cockeyed Charlie’s— Music by Jordan Cortlandt’s Pizza Pub— Marcus Elizondo, 7:30p Felix’s— Bobby Butchka Flora-Bama— Neil Dover, 4p / Alexa Burroughs, 7p / Rhonda Hart Duo, 8p
THURS. DEC 20 Bluegill— Al & Cathy Blues Tavern— Marcus & Ebony Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Brickyard— Tyler Mac Cockeyed Charlie’s— Music by JJ Cortlandt’s Pizza Pub— Bryant Gilley, 7:30p Dauphins— Mark Pipas, 5p Fairhope Brewing— Bluegrass Jam, 6p Felix’s— Jeri Flora-Bama— Gove Scrivenor, 1p / Dueling Pianos, 4:30p /Not The Real Band, But The Real Deal (Mark Sherrill), 5p / Bruce Smelley, 9p / Davis Nix Duo, 9:15p IP Casino (Chill Ultra)— Travis Thibidaux Band, 9p Listening Room— Xaris Walkman Manci’s— Red Clay Strays Duo
FRI. DEC 21 Big Beach Brewing— Sugarcane Jane, 5:30p Bluegill— Hannah McFarland, 12p / Bust, 6p
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Blues Tavern— Mark Welborn Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Jimmy and Talia, 6p Brickyard— Bowling Buddies Cockeyed Charlie’s— Tony B & The Opperators Felix’s— Stephen Sylvester Duo Flora-Bama— Lea Anne Creswell Duo, 2p / Scott Koehn and Electric Dawg, 5:30p / Davis Nix Duo, 6p / Yeah, Probably, 10p / Justin Jeansonne Duo, 10:15p Listening Room— Sarah Rose Marie Trio LuLu’s— Ronnie Presley, 5p Manci’s— The Modern Eldorados Moe’s BBQ (Daphne) — Blind Dog Mike and the Howlers, 8p Moe’s BBQ (Mobile) — Jim Burt, 6:30p Moe’s BBQ (Semmes) — Dunaway Brothers, 6:30p Original Oyster House — Jessie Howell Soul Kitchen— Muscadine Bloodline, Koe Wetzel, 9p
SAT. DEC 22 Big Beach Brewing— The Chillbilles, 6:30p Bluegill— Quintin Berry, 12p / Jamie Adamson Duo, 6p Blues Tavern— Johnny Hall Band Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Adam Holt Duo, 6p Brickyard— Josh Ewing, Ben L, Greg DeLuca Callaghan’s— Blackwater Brass Cockeyed Charlie’s— M Bezzle Dauphins— Mark Pipas, 5p Fairhope Brewing— East LA Fadeaway, 7p Felix’s— Blind Dog Mike Flora-Bama— Albert Simpson and John Kulinich, 1p / J Hawkins Duo, 2p / JoJoPres featuring Bruce Smelley, 5:30p / Davis Nix Duo, 6p / Oliver’s Twist, 10p / Justin Jeansonne
Duo, 10:15p IP Casino (Chill Ultra)— Steve Warren Band IP Casino (Studio A)— Jewel w/ Atz, Atz Lee and Nikos Kilcher Listening Room— Jimbo Mathus w/Frye Gaillard LuLu’s— Jimmy Lumpkin, 5p Manci’s— Lee Yankie Moe’s BBQ (Foley) — Winston Ramble Soul Kitchen— CBDB, 9p
SUN. DEC 23 Bluegill— Matt Bush, 12p / Les Hall & Friends, 6p Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— David Chastang, 6p Brickyard— Delta Smoke Callaghan’s— The Redfield Dauphins— Roland Cobbs, 11a Fairhope Brewing— Blue Mullet, 2p Felix’s— Leonard Houstin Flora-Bama— Songs of Rusty, 12:30p / Perdido Brothers, 4p / Bruce Smelley, 8p / Al and Cathy, 8:30p LuLu’s— Brent Burns, 5p Manci’s— Brandon White and Karl Langley
MON. DEC 24 Big Beach Brewing— Jim Burt, 6:30p Felix’s— Bobby Butchka Flora-Bama— Open Mic w/ Cathy Pace, 4p / Justin Jeansonne, 8p / Petty and Pace, 8p
TUES. DEC 25 Boudreaux’s Cajun Grill— Ryan Balthrop, 6p Cockeyed Charlie’s— Music by JJ Flora-Bama— Brittany Grimes, 12p / T-Bone Montgomery, 4p / Jonathan Newton, 8p / Rick Whaley Duo, 8p
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Electrifying performances in ‘Sorry to Bother You’
FILMTHE REEL WORLD
BY ASIA FREY/FILM CRITIC/AFREY@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
AREA THEATERS AMC MOBILE 16 785 Schillinger Road South Mobile, AL (251)639-1748 CRESCENT THEATER 208 Dauphin St Mobile, AL (251) 438-2005 REGAL MOBILE STADIUM 18 1250 Satchel Paige Drive Mobile, AL (844) 462-7342
bracing, brilliant alternative to holiday cheer can be found in the insane and hilarious “Sorry to Bother You,” a scathing science fiction comedy with a stiff dose of social commentary. It somehow manages to be terrifying and challenging yet ebullient at the same time, and the near-future dystopia it audaciously depicts is all too recognizable. Stars Lakeith Stanfield and and Tessa Thompson are electrifying. No matter how weird the film gets, the concept is completely sealed by the sheer charm of its cast, especially Thompson as the ultimate smiling assassin, an effervescent but brutal performance artist named Detroit. Stanfield stars as her boyfriend Cassius “Cash” Green, struggling to make ends meet as a telemarketer. His workplace rates with the 7½ floor from “Being John Malkovich” in the annals of onscreen office hell. Cash has trouble making a sale until coworker Danny Glover advises him to use his “white voice.” From then on, Stanfield’s
“white voice” is portrayed by David Cross, and his office stock skyrockets. “Sorry to Bother You” spends half the film skewering capitalism and the horrors and indignities of working in an office, with its vile managers, human resources acronyms and draconian caste systems. In this case, a special elevator with a comically long access code whisks “Power Callers” to their own special floor. Once Cash makes it to Power Caller status, his life and the film take a gonzo turn to science fiction, as he learns the secrets of the labor corporation WorryFree, where Armie Hammer makes billions on modern slave labor. The delightful and assured cast lead the story with complete control through its craziest moments, and this dystopian madness is utterly believable in their capable hands. Steven Yeun (“The Walking Dead”) is excellent as a labor organizer trying to help unionize the telemarketers. The easy camaraderie among the resistance feels very real. Their commitment to this story pops in every scene. The directorial debut of musician and
activist Boots Riley, this overtly political film is the opposite of boring or preachy. It’s thrilling and insane and more artistically realized than another recent film that merged a popular genre with a political presence, “Get Out.” Both films dealt with the commodification of African-American bodies in shocking and memorable ways; this one just also happens to be hilarious. “Sorry to Bother You” probably will bother you, and it won’t be the least bit sorry about it, because it is also so vivacious and, despite some physical yuckiness, oddly charming. Somewhere in all the social satire, hallucinogenic action and funk anthem soundtrack, I have managed to fall deeply in love with both Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. Even while bleeding from the head, or maybe especially then, Stanfield is stunningly watchable and deeply relatable, even when he finds himself in some situations we will likely never encounter. Unless we do. “Sorry to Bother You” is currently available to rent.
AMC JUBILEE Square 12 6898 Highway 90 Daphne, AL (251) 626-5766 NEXUS CINEMA DINING 7070 Bruns Dr. Mobile, AL (251) 776-6570 AMC CLASSIC WHARF 23151 Wharf Lane Orange Beach, AL (251) 981-4444 COBB PINNACLE 14 3780 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores (251) 923-0785 EASTERN SHORE PREMIERE CINEMA 14 30500 State Hwy 181 Spanish Fort, AL (251) 626-0352 Information accurate at press time; please call theaters for showtimes.
Photos | Annapurna Pictures / Disney
From left: Boots Riley’s directorial debut “Sorry to Bother You” tells the story of telemarketer Cassius Green, who discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed. In “Mary Poppins Returns,” decades after her original visit the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives. NEW THIS WEEK THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN
Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) escapes from San Quentin Prison and embarks on a string of heists that confound authorities. Nexus Cinema Dining
A Transformers origin story set in 1987 with a charming female star (Hailee Steinfeld). All listed multiplex theaters.
Jennifer Lopez stars as a woman given a second chance at a high-powered career. All listed multiplex theaters.
WELCOME TO MARWEN
To cope with trauma from a violent attack, a man (Steve Carell)
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creates a miniature World War II town that comes to life with astonishingly realistic dolls. AMC Mobile 16, AMC Classic Jubilee Square 12
Moms everywhere are eager to bring their kids to see damp hunk Jason Momoa as the towering Atlantean superhero. All listed multiplex theaters.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
The mysterious Mary Poppins returns to Depression-era London to visit Jane and her brother, Michael, now a father of three, and helps them rediscover the joy they knew as children. All listed multiplex theaters, Nexus Cinema Dining, Crescent Theater.
NOW PLAYING THE WIFE Regal Mobile Stadium 18 SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE All listed multiplex theaters. MORTAL ENGINES Regal Mobile Stadium 18, AMC Classic Jubilee Square, AMC Mobile 16 THE MULE Regal Mobile Stadium 18, AMC Classic Jubilee Square, AMC Mobile 16 ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL All listed multiplex theaters. THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE All listed multiplex theaters. GREEN BOOK Crescent Theater, Regal Mobile Stadium 18 CREED II All listed multiplex theaters. RALPH BREAKS THE
INTERNET All listed multiplex theaters. ROBIN HOOD All listed multiplex theaters. INSTANT FAMILY All listed multiplex theaters. FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD All listed multiplex theaters, Nexus Cinema Dining. WIDOWS Regal Mobile Stadium 18, AMC Classic Wharf DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH All listed multiplex theaters. THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS All listed multiplex theaters, Nexus Cinema Dining. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Regal Mobile Stadium 18, AMC Mobile 16, AMC Classic Jubilee Square 12 A STAR IS BORN All listed multiplex theaters.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS DECEMBER 19, 2018 - DECEMBER 25, 2018
Model railroad ‘world’ returns to Exploreum BY KEVIN LEE/ARTS EDITOR/KLEE@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM
GENERAL INTEREST Blood Drive Wednesday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Mobile Police Department headquarters (2460 Government Blvd.). All donors will receive recognition items and free cholesterol screening. Must be at least 16 years old and 100 pounds. Call 251-2081918. Celebrating the Gift of Life Thursday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Buskey Medical Center (424 S. Wilson Ave.) All ages are welcome to free food, health screenings, giveaways, children’s activities and picture with Santa. Contact 251-436-7632 or visit franklinprimary.org. Tea for $2 Thursday, Dec. 20, 2-3 p.m., Fairhope Museum of History. Astronomer Charles Scovil will discuss the North Star
ture world — buildings, train platforms, trees, landscape, even animals — but its realization was a group effort. “Each member was responsible for building a module. We had to follow a certain measurement from the outside edge or from the outside mainline to the inside, and so far from the inside and then the brass line, but there was little continuity from one section to another,” Holloway noted. The highly detailed creation is in HO scale (1:87), the largest seller of the six sizes. Every rivet and bolt of the real-life versions is in place, even the paint schemes. Holloway is enthused about a new addition, a scale version of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter train that runs through the Rio Grande Basin between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Like any enthusiast, he is a fountain of railroad knowledge. Holloway can recite history, the color schemes of various lines and technical information. When he helps assemble the Exploreum display, he calls himself a “Gandy dancer” in reference to the section hands who put together rail lines. When relaying a recent illness, he noted assistance from an appropriately named John Henry. Exploreum Director Don Comeaux is a childhood hobbyist of various sorts who understands and admires MSME’s passions. He recently shot photos of the 30-year-old installation and mentioned a crowdfunding effort to refurbish their extensive showpiece and the
(Star of Bethlehem) just in time for Christmas. Contact 251-929-1471 or visit fairhopeal.gov. “The Polar Express” Thursday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m. at the Ben May Main Library. Singalongs, melted snow, snack stations, pajama contest and screening of “The Polar Express” in Bernheim Hall. Free. Call 251-208-7086 or email email@example.com. Live Nativity Thursday, Dec. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Camp Grace (11081 Wanda Drive, Mobile). View a display of the birth of Jesus Christ and experience music, prayer and fellowship. Call 251-635-0935 or visit CampGrace.com. “Home Alone” Ice Cream Party Friday, Dec. 21, 2-3 p.m., Ben May Main Library. Make and eat your own ice cream
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Photo | Facebook
here’s a lifelong love affair on display at the Gulf Coast Exploreum’s Scratch Factory, one that stretches almost to the Great Depression. “I have the first model train I got when I was 4 years old and that train still runs, man,” Joaquin M. Holloway Jr., said. Old pals recalled his guarded ways with the prized gift. “If I had let him play with it, it wouldn’t still be running because he would have wanted to see a wreck at a crossing or a derailment,” Holloway laughed. The octogenarian isn’t just a former educator and local radio personality; he’s also a longtime member of the Mobile Society of Model Engineers (MSME), and eager to spread his love of railroads of all sizes. That swoon peaks for the holidays. November is National Model Railroad Month. Holloway touts recent proclamations from the mayors of Semmes and Mobile stating the same for their cities. For December, MSME will reassemble its elaborate model railroad layout in the downtown science center at the foot of Government Street. “We used to go in the mall for Thanksgiving but it was a pain to set up all those modules for a two-day run,” Holloway said. In 2007, they moved to the Mobile Museum of Art for a two-week run but were eventually squeezed out by a Mardi Gras exhibit, so in 2014 they turned to The Exploreum. The 25-by-15-foot layout looks like a cohesive minia-
The Mobile Society of Model Engineers’ annual holiday display is hosted at The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center through the end of the month. trailer where it’s stored. It’s clear MSME has a home at The Exploreum. “We bring it in every winter, Thanksgiving through New Year’s, so we’re going to see if we winterize it for them,” Comeaux said. “I’ve shot videos of those trains that look like real trains going through a tunnel.” Holloway admitted time’s wear has shown on both the layout and membership. “MSME membership has declined. Some members died out and other things of that sort — “ “Or their wives don’t want them to do it,” his wife, Malvina, interjected with laughter. Her patience is obvious. As we talked, they stood near the Mobile Convention Center while her husband waited to watch a “unit train” on its way from McDuffie Coal Terminal to the rail yard. Joaquin Holloway is also tolerant, used to rolling eyes and wisecracks. An old professorial colleague once jibed the enthusiast by asking where his “little cap” was. “I told him, ‘I don’t wear a cap; I own the railroad,’” Holloway chuckled.
sundae, play “Roll-A-Sandae” for prizes and view a screening of “Home Alone” at 3 p.m. Call 251-208-7086 or visit mobilepubliclibrary.org. Holiday Craft Day Saturday, Dec. 22, 10 a.m. at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center. Bring the family to make holiday cards, crafts and memories. All ages, free, no registration required. Call 251-625-0814 or visit Alabama5Rivers. com. Caroling with Blow House Brass Band Sunday, Dec. 23, 8-10 p.m. in Bienville Square. Get your tacky sweaters and congregation candles and bring the family to join in singing (or playing) favorite holiday tunes. Christmas Day brunch buffet Tuesday, Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m. at The
Battle House Hotel. Christmas Day brunch will be served in the Crystal Ballroom from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Reservations required, call 251-338-5441; $65 per person, ages 6-12 half price, 5 and under free. Christmas Nights of Lights Through Jan. 1 nightly, 5:30-10 p.m. at Hank Aaron Stadium. Don’t miss the final season of “Christmas Nights of Lights” at the Hank, one of the most amazing drivethru Christmas light shows you’ll ever experience. Admission $6 per person, 3 and under free. Christmas at OWA Come celebrate the sights, sounds and music of Christmas at OWA with a Christmas light show nightly, story time with Santa’s elves and photos with Santa. Visit visitowa.com for more information on these and other holiday activities.
St. Mary’s Home Toy Drive Through Thursday, Dec. 20. Drop-off at Maya Luna Mexican Restaurant (4523 St. Stephens Road). Recipients of new, unwrapped gifts will be accepted for boys and girls ages 9-18. Contact 251-725-0627. Christmas at Oakleigh Saturday, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. See one of Mobile’s oldest homes decorated for the season, learn about Oakleigh’s rich history with Oakleigh Belles, and visit the gift shop. Light refreshments served. Admission $10. Call 251-432-1281. Christmas at the Bragg Through Dec. 21, guests are invited to share the spirit of the season at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion. Tours Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour. Admission $10/adults, $5/ children ages 5-12. Private tours available for groups. Call 251-471-6364 or visit braggmitchellmansion.com. Magic Christmas in Lights Bellingrath Gardens and Home presents the 23rd season of “Magic Christmas in Lights” nightly, 5-9 p.m., through Dec. 31. Visit bellingrath.org. Wales West Arctic Express Now through Dec. 24, ride a steam train to the North Pole and visit Santa Claus. Petting zoo, pony rides, miniature train rides, hayless hayride, bounce house and fun artificial snow. Visit waleswestlightrailway.heartlandticket.com. Military Mondays Active-duty military and their families receive a 15 percent discount each Monday of the “Magic Christmas in Lights” season at Bellingrath, through Dec. 24. Visit bellingrath.org. Winter at The Wharf Ice skating at The Wharf through Jan. 13, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; $10 for skating, $13 for skating and ferris wheel. Visit ALWharf.com for details. Christmas at Conde-Charlotte Museum Enjoy the beauty of the holidays at one of the oldest homes in Alabama through Jan. 5. The Conde-Charlotte Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed Dec. 22-25 and Jan. 1. Call 251-432-4722 or visit condecharlotte.com. Celebrate the gift of life Thursday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Aiello/Buskey Medical Center (424 S. Wilson Ave.). Free food, health screenings, giveaways, children’s activities and pictures with Santa. Contact Kathy Perry, 251-4367632. Christmas lessons and carols Sunday, Dec. 23, 10 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral. A celebration in scripture and music of Christ’s birth. Visit christchurchcathedralmobile.org.
“Everest” at The Exploreum Celebrate The Exploreum’s 20th anniversary with “Everest.” An international team of climbers ascends Mount Everest in spring 1996. The film depicts the lengthy preparations for the climb, the trek to the summit and the successful return to base camp. Visit exploreum.com.
Greenleaf Writers Group Third Saturday each month at Semmes Library on Moffett Road, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursdays at MMoA Every Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Mobile Museum of Art offers free admission to all Mobile County residents. No reservations necessary. MMoA is at 4850 Museum Drive. Call 251-208-5200.
17th annual Santa Run Saturday, Dec. 22, 10 a.m. at Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea (4072 Old Shell Road). Twomile fun run, walk, bike or dog walk for the whole family. Supporting the Mobile Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Pre-register in person at Carpe Diem or at carpe-coffee.com/ santarun.
Dollar General Bowl Saturday, Dec. 22, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Buffalo vs. Troy. Kickoff at 6 p.m. Visit dollargeneralbowl.com
ARTS Lightwire’s “A Very Electric Christmas” Sunday, Dec. 23, 2:30 p.m. at the Mobile Saenger Theatre. Combining the arts of puppetry, theater and dance with timeless holiday music, this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope creates a truly one-of-a-kind spectacle. Visit www. mobilesaenger.com.
MUSEUMS “Our Beloved Women” The Marx Library at the University of South Alabama will host “Our Beloved Women: Matriarchs of the Poarch Creek” through December. Visit library.southalabama.edu. Animation Academy at The Exploreum Learn about the history of animated drawings, from prefilm animation devices to today’s computer-generated animation, and try your hand at drawing characters. Through Jan. 6. Call 251-208-6893 or visit exploreum.com. Mystery of the Mayan Medallion Secrets of an ancient world await at the History Museum of Mobile, through Dec. 30. Visit historymuseumofmobile.com.
Annual Christmas Eve Elf Run/Walk Moday, Dec. 24, at 8:15 a.m. in Bienville Square. Dress like your version of an elf or one of Santa’s helpers. We run, walk, crawl, skip or cartwheel beginning at 8:30 a.m. Adult skate night Every second and fourth Sunday each month, 8-10:30 p.m. at Dreamland Skate Center (5672 Three Notch Road) with DJ Beaux, $5.
WORKSHOPS Safe Sitter Class Friday, Dec. 21, 8 a.m. at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. A one-day class designed to prepare students in grades 6-8 to be safe when they’re home alone, watching younger siblings or babysitting. The Instructor-led class is filled with fun games and role-playing exercises. Students will use manikins to practice rescue skills, including choking rescue and CPR. Cost is $45 and includes lunch. Call 251-895-2367 or register at trainingcentertechnologies. com/CEMS/CourseEnrollment.aspx.
PUBLIC MEETINGS Baldwin County Commission: First and third Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., 322 Courthouse Square, Bay Minette. Work sessions are second and fourth Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. rotating between Bay Minette, the Foley Satellite Courthouse, the Fairhope Satellite
Courthouse and the Baldwin County Central Annex Building in Robertsdale, baldwincountyal.gov. Baldwin County Planning Commission: First Thursday at 6 p.m., 22251 Palmer St., Robertsdale, baldwincountyal.gov. Bayou La Batre City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m., 13785 S. Wintzell Ave., cityofbayoulabatre.com. Chickasaw City Council: Second and fourth Tuesday at 7 p.m., 224 N. Craft Highway, 251-452-6450. Citronelle City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6:30 p.m., 19135 Main St., 251-866-7973. Creola City Council: Second and fourth Thursday at 6 p.m., 190 Dead Lake Road, #A, 251-675-8142. Daphne City Council: First and third Monday at 6:30 p.m., 1705 Main St. Work sessions second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m., daphneal.com. Dauphin Island Town Council: First and third Tuesdays at 7 p.m., 1011 Bienville Blvd., townofdauphinisland.org. Elberta Town Council: Third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the town hall. Workshop meeting on the second Tuesday, townofelberta.com. Fairhope City Council: Second and fourth Monday at 6 p.m., 161 N. Section St. Work sessions held before each council meeting at 4:30 p.m., cofairhope.com. Fairhope Planning Commission: First Monday at 5 p.m., 161 N. Section St. Visit cofairhope.com. Foley City Council: First and third Monday at 5:30 p.m., 407 E. Laurel Ave. Work sessions begin at 4 p.m.; cityoffoley.org. Gulf Shores City Council: Second and fourth Mondays at 4 p.m., 1905 W. First St., gulfshoresal.gov. Mobile City Council: Tuesdays at Government Plaza, 205 Government St. Pre-council meeting at 9 a.m.; council meeting at 10:30 a.m., cityofmobile.org. Mobile Planning Commission: First and third Thursdays at 2 p.m., 205 Government St., urban.cityofmobile.org. Orange Beach City Council: First and third Tuesdays at 5 p.m., 4099 Orange Beach Blvd., cityoforangebeach.com. Prichard City Council: Every Thursday at 5:30 p.m., 216 E. Prichard Ave., thecityofprichard.org. Satsuma City Council: First and third Tuesdays at 6 p.m. City Hall, 5464 Old Highway 43, 251-675-1440. Semmes City Council: First and third Tuesday. Work sessions at 3 p.m., regular council meeting at 4 p.m. Semmes City Council Chambers, 7875 Moffett Road Unit #C, 251-649-8811.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE WHAT A ZOO! BY ROSS TRUDEAU / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ ACROSS 1 Cranky baby’s need 4 “Inspector Gadget” antagonist 10 Eschew 15 Starbuck’s order giver19 Brown ____ 20 Best seller subtitled “The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English” 21 Pomme de____ (French for “potato”) 22 Part (of) 23 Part of U.C.S.F. 24 Cryptid of the 91-Across 27 Cordial relations 29 Gave two big thumbs down 30 Pluck 31 Cryptid of the 115-Across 36 Kids’ TV character who speaks in a falsetto 37 Adler in Sherlock Holmes stories 38 Freshly painted 39 Talk like one smitten 41 Singer Del Rey 43 Cabinet selection? 45 When crepuscular animals are active 48 Cryptid of 105-Across 50 Jersey and others 52 Asian territory in Risk 54 Traitor 55 Surgically remove 56 Inventor Otis 58 “Am not!” rejoinder 60 Smallish batteries 61 P 62 With 68- and 74-Across, J. K. Rowling’s first screenplay, with a hint to three pairs of answers in this puzzle 65 Indulges in to an unhealthful degree, briefly 67 Dispense 68 See 62-Across 69 Of service 71 “____ bleu!” 74 See 62-Across 80 Northeast state sch. 81 Meas. in a T.S.A. carry-on rule 83 Failed the class 84 Perfumery oil 85 Barbie’s strawberry blond sister 87 Kingston bro 88 Stagger 90 Real Madrid vis-à-vis F.C. Barcelona 91 Creation after the Indian and Eurasian plates collided 93 Total hunk 95 Tape or patch 96 “Happy Birthday” writer, maybe 97 It’s not your fault 98 ____ rap (music subgenre) 101 Word before and after
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13 Return letters? 14 Blue Book value decreaser 15 Also 16 Housewives and househusbands 17 Voice-activated device since 2014 18 Nota ____ 25 Mother of the Virgin Mary 26 Be beholden to 28 Like a top-rated Michelin restaurant 32 Demise 33 Junior in the Football Hall of Fame 34 Real: Ger. 35 Shad delicacy 40 Gumbo ingredient 42 Playwright Chekhov 43 Feudal domain 44 Actress Fisher 46 Ghost 47 Person who’s happy to DOWN go bust? 1 Like Bob Dylan’s voice 48 ____ Ski Valley 2 “Remember the ____!” 49 Repair, as a metal joint 3 Medical discovery of 1928 4 ____ Johnson a.k.a. The 51 Certain product of pyrolysis 53 Classic Chrysler Rock 54 Highway gunk 5 Burgle 57 Silent communication, 6 Corp. mogul for short 7 Hobbles 8 2007 No. 1 Alicia Keys album 59 The golden rule, e.g. 60 Italian wine town 9 Narrow down 63 Carries away 10 In a perfect world 64 Nursery-rhyme seat 11 African grassland 66 Harm 12 Cent : U.S. 70 Motor ____ :: ____ : Sweden “say” 103 Penne ____ vodka 105 It borders Iceland’s eastern coast 111 Event not intended to be repeated 113 Bricklayer’s tool 114 Weather-controlling “XMen” character 115 Gaelic’s home 120 One with a backstage pass 121 Fast time 122 Sort with a stiff upper lip 123 Capital of Kazakhstan 124 Squeeze (out) 125 “… ____ they say” 126 Cupboard with open shelves at the top 127 What old army buddies might discuss 128 “Far out!”
71 It can come in rolls 72 Like chemotherapy drugs 73 Adaptable sorts 75 Big things for megalomaniacs 76 Telephone buttons that lack letters 77 Acts like a helicopter parent to 78 Panache 79 ____-mannered 82 Enthusiasm 86 Massimo who wrote “The Goodbye Kiss” 87 Adding and subtracting 89 Breather 92 Until now 94 Opus ____ 98 Make wealthy 99 Robert who pioneered in electronic music 100 “And if I don’t?” 102 Poughkeepsie campus 104 Rearward 106 Value system 107 From Swansea, say 108 Tickle 109 Eleniak of “Baywatch” 110 Psyched 111 Capital on the same parallel as Seward, Alaska 112 Angle 116 Original Beatle Sutcliffe 117 Having many fans … or needing a fan? 118 “Fuhgeddaboudit!” 119 Bit of forensic data
ANSWERS ON PAGE 42
An irreverent look at the history of medicine
BY DARYN GLASSBROOK/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Photo | Amazon
ince 2013, the husband and wife team of Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee Smirl McElroy have been co-hosting “Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine,” a popular podcast distributed online by the Maximum Fun network. Now the married couple has teamed up with illustrator Teylor Smirl (Dr. McElroy’s sister) on “The Sawbones Book: The Horrifying, Hilarious Road to Modern Medicine.” As is evident from their titles, both the podcast and the book mainly focus on the often ridiculously wrong turns medicine has taken from antiquity through the present. Sometimes these wrong turns are due to an honest mistake in scientific inquiry, while other times they are caused by greed, dishonesty, egotism or sheer ignorance. Whatever the case may be, the McElroys’ primary aim is to entertain, so the history lessons are delivered with plenty of sarcasm, irreverent wit and scatological humor. The McElroys make a great comedy duo, with Sydnee playing the straight woman and Justin taking on the role of the immature buffoon. Dr. McElroy, a family physician and assistant professor at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, guides the reader skillfully through some pretty obscure history and science. Justin McElroy, who lacks a medical background of any kind, frequently interjects with mockery, disgust and self-consciously stupid questions. Their charming banter is faithfully replicated in the book with hand-drawn, Facebook-style profile pictures that “talk” to each other and to the reader in conversational English. This narrative method tends to make even some of the most gruesome episodes in medical history (e.g., research scientists intentionally infecting themselves with yellow fever, gonorrhea and hookworm) a bit more palatable. The design of the book contributes to its overall accessibility and coherence. Although it jumps around from one historical era and civilization to the next, the book’s numerous anecdotes are sorted into four aptly named
stock images of historic figures, anatomical diagrams, paintings and advertisements reproduced from Shutterstock and other sources. At 213 pages, it’s a short book that can be read easily from front to back in a single sitting. But you can also dip into any section and be entertained for a few minutes at a time during a coffee or bathroom break. Fans of the podcast as well as those with a passing knowledge of medical history will recognize some of the anecdotes, such as the notorious case of Phineas Gage, a 19th century railroad worker who survived a horrific brain injury and lived for 12 more years with his physical and mental abilities virtually intact. But even scholarly readers are bound to encounter something new. How many people have heard about the parrot fever epidemic of 1929? Who knew that hundreds of cases of spontaneous human combustion have been reported since the 17th century, and that there is a scientific explanation (the Wick Effect) for this strange phenomenon? Just like the podcast, “The Sawbones Book” begins with a disclaimer: “This is a book about medical history and nothing we say should be taken as medical advice or opinion. It’s for fun.” In her dual role as licensed physician and media personality, Dr. McElroy is well aware of the power she has to unduly influence her audience with an offhand remark. She has no desire to be the next Dr. Oz, so she repeatedly sounds a strong note of caution when discussing past beliefs and treatments that have been invalidated by science but may still seem tempting to proponents of alternative medicine or homeopathy: “Don’t do this.” But does the medical history hold up to scrutiny? For the most part, yes. As unbelievable as it sounds, there was a demand among fashionable people of the Renaissance for medicine made from the flesh of mummies. And there really was a dancing plague of 1519 that caused its victims to dance uncontrollably until they literally dropped dead. I did, however, notice at least one major error that seems to have gotten past the fact checkers. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not recover from a childhood bout of polio as the book claims. He did not become paralyzed until 1921, when he was 39 years old. In fact, some researchers now believe he may have had Guillain-Barré syndrome instead of polio. While you do not need to be a health care practitioner or medical historian to appreciate “The Sawbones Book,” you do need to be able to tolerate graphic descriptions of bodily functions, diseases and injuries. It also helps if you have a morbid sense of humor. I would probably start by listening to a few episodes of the weekly “Sawbones” podcast. If you get hooked, you will probably find the McElroys equally delightful and thought-provoking company in print. “The Sawbones Book: The Horrifying, Hilarious Road to Modern Medicine” by Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy. Weldon Owen Inc., 2018. The author, Daryn Glassbrook, Ph.D., is executive director of the Mobile Medical Museum.
Veteran podcasters Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband, Justin, wrote “The Sawbones Book,” a rollicking journey through thousands of years of medical mishaps and miracles that’s not only hilarious but downright educational. chapters: “The Unnerving,” “The Gross,” “The Weird” and “The Awesome.” There are also recurring subsections, as in a magazine, such as the “Misguided Medicine Hall of Fame,” “Miraculous Universal Cure-Alls” and “Sydnee’s Fun Medical Facts.” Swirl’s original illustrations are supplemented with
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SPORTS UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Mobile celebrates 20 years of bowl games with Troy, Buffalo BY J. MARK BRYANT/SPORTS WRITER/SPORTS@LAGNIAPPEMOBILE.COM/TWITTER @GOULAGUY
The Trojans finished the regular season 9-3 overall (including a win at Nebraska) and 7-1 in Sun Belt Conference action. They are led by Neal Brown, who at 38 is the sixth-youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. During his tenure he has directed the Trojans to a Sun Belt championship, two bowl victories, the nation’s best turnaround and the first Top 25
Phots | Submitted
t first glance it appears Troy University will enjoy quite a “home field” advantage when the Trojans face the University at Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN. The Bulls’ campus is located more than 1,150 miles from Mobile Bay. This is a greater difference than even previous Mid-American Conference (MAC) representatives Northern Illinois (987 miles) and Toledo (919). Troy, on the other hand, is just down the road in Alabama’s Pike County. The Trojans are an opponent familiar to University of South Alabama fans, as the teams meet each year for the “Battle of the Belt” football game. With regard to bowl action, Troy has previously played in Mobile twice: losing to Central Michigan 44-41 during double overtime in 2010 and beating Ohio 28-23 in 2016. “We are excited to be celebrating our 20th year and what better way to do so than by pairing up two standout teams to square off here in Mobile,” Dollar General Bowl President Jerry Silverstein said.
ranking in school and Sun Belt history. “We are excited about our third straight bowl appearance and returning to the Dollar General Bowl,” Troy Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain said. “The bowl staff and the city of Mobile roll out the welcome mat as well as anyone in the country during bowl season. The Dollar General Bowl is a first-class event for not only our football players and staff but also for the fans, and we anticipate another strong contingent of Troy faithful visiting Mobile … to help cheer on the Trojans to our fourth straight bowl win.” In 2018, the Trojans finished second in the Sun Belt in scoring and rushing defense, while leading the conference with 17 interceptions for 304 yards. Troy collected the most all-Sun Belt selections with 23, headlined by seven first-team honors. B.J. Smith leads the conference in rushing with 1,093 yards and 12 touchdowns. Joining him on the first-team unit are wide receiver Damion Willis, offensive lineman Kirk Kelley, defensive lineman Trevon Sanders, linebacker Hunter Reese, defensive back Cedarius Rookard and kick returner Marcus Jones.
University at Buffalo
The Bulls (10-3 overall, 7-1 MAC) will be making their first appearance in the Dollar General Bowl. Lance Leipold, this year’s MAC Coach of the Year, is in his fourth season with Buffalo and has led the program to its first 10-win season and first appearance in the MAC Championship game since 2008. Buffalo is the largest campus in the State University of New York system.
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“On behalf of our president, Dr. Satish Tripathi, and the University at Buffalo, we’re very honored and excited to represent the Mid-American Conference in the 20th Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Alabama,” said Buffalo Athletic Director Mark Alnutt. “It has been a historic season for the University at Buffalo football program and we have an opportunity to continue to build upon this season by playing in a bowl game that is known for providing a firstclass experience for its participants.” Buffalo ranked second in the MAC in total defense and interceptions (14 for 94 yards). Tyree Jackson, who was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year, is the first quarterback in school history to earn All-MAC honors, throwing for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns. Running back Jaret Patterson was selected as the MAC Freshman of the Year. He led Buffalo and ranked fifth in the MAC with 874 yards rushing; his 12 touchdowns were tied for third in the league. Buffalo and Ohio led the way with six first-team MAC selections, while the Bulls had 11 players overall honored by the conference. Named to the first-team for a second year are wide receiver Anthony Johnson and inside linebacker Khalil Hodge. Honored for the initial time are offensive linemen James O’Hagan, tight end Tyler Mabry and defensive lineman Chuck Harris.
The teams arrived on Tuesday. On Wednesday, players and coaches from both teams will visit children and present Christmas gifts to pa-
tients at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. A team bowling challenge will follow that night at Eastern Shore Lanes. Chick-Fil-A will host a team luncheon Thursday at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. On Friday, the Mayor’s Luncheon presented by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians will feature former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning as the keynote speaker. Last month, the Southeastern Conference named Manning as winner of the Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award for his impact on the league. During the banquet, the Dollar General Bowl will present “Champions of Life,” an honor given to individuals who have achieved great success. The luncheon is set for noon at the Mobile Convention Center. Tickets for the event cost $30. Later that night, the “This is Alabama Street Party” begins at 5 p.m. in Mardi Gras Park. The event will feature a DJ, a visit by Santa Claus, games and other activities. The Greer’s/This is Alabama Mardi Gras Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. This is a favorite event for both visitors and locals, who come out to see the college marching bands and cheerleaders join 24 area Carnival associations as their floats take over the streets of downtown Mobile. Following the parade, a pep rally for both teams will take place in Mardi Gras Park. Festivities conclude with the Spectronics Fireworks Display. Dollar General Bowl game and event tickets can be purchased online at DollarGeneralBowl. com/tickets or by calling the Dollar General Bowl office at 251-635-0011. Game tickets cost $45 for sideline seats and $15 for general admission.
SPORTS FROM BEHIND THE MIC
Bowl games are meaningless only if we view them that way BY RANDY KENNEDY/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
blame Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey for damaging college football and beginning the downfall of the bowl tradition. Fournette and McCaffrey were both healthy scratches from their final college football games simply because they didn’t want to get hurt prior to the NFL draft. It’s worth noting both LSU and Stanford went on to win their bowl games without the help of their biggest stars. But that’s beside the point. The precedent was set by those two that it was OK to quit on your teammates and fans. The only in-state example of a player being a quitter came last year when Carlton Davis skipped Auburn’s game against Central Florida before being selected in the second round (No. 63 overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But now we’ve taken it to another level. Last week came word Will Grier will skip West Virginia’s Camping World Bowl game against Syracuse Dec. 28. He will be the first big-time quarterback to desert his team with a bowl game still to play. Grier isn’t injured. In fact, he has already committed to come to Mobile for the Reese’s Senior Bowl at LaddPeebles Stadium on Jan. 26, and I can’t wait to watch him in person. Grier is no ordinary quarterback. He has become a West Virginia legend by passing for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns while leading the Mountaineers to an 8-3 record this season. His shootout with Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray was one of the most memorable games of the 2018 season. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper has him listed as the fifthbest quarterback eligible for the draft. That makes him a
likely first-round or second-round NFL selection. In his statement announcing his decision, Grier thanked his coaches and “most importantly my teammates, who are now lifelong friends who taught me the true meaning of team.” I’m not sure the lesson stuck. Grier isn’t the only player choosing to skip bowl games this season — in fact, he’s not the only Mountaineer. AllAmerican tackle Yodny Cajuste has announced he also won’t play against Syracuse. Ed Oliver of Houston couldn’t even make it to the end of the regular season before shutting it down. In Oliver’s defense, he was nursing an injury and wants to get healthy before the NFL workouts. Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry has already missed the Sun Devils’ Las Vegas Bowl appearance against Fresno State, instead watching his team lose 31-20 from the sideline. His teammates had to be wondering if maybe the game would be going differently if their most explosive offensive player was on the field. Other players who have chosen to skip bowl games this season include Iowa tight end Noah Fant, Michigan defensive tackle Rashan Gary, South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel, LSU defensive back Greedy Williams, Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, Oklahoma State guard Larry Williams, North Carolina State linebacker Germaine Pratt, North Carolina State wide receiver Kelvin Harmon and Minnesota offensive tackle Donnell Greene. The defense of these players’ decisions is always the same, and always wrong: Why should they play in a mean-
ingless bowl game? If the outcome of the Camping World Bowl is so meaningless, then why is ESPN paying millions of dollars to televise it? Why are thousands of fans spending a good portion of their disposable income to go to the game? Take this argument one step further: What is significant about the AlabamaOklahoma game? When we wake up Sunday morning after the Tide and Sooners play, there are still going to be hungry kids around the world, there are still going to be people suffering from deadly and painful diseases, and there will still be wars going on around the globe. So what difference does it make if Alabama or Oklahoma advance to the na-
THE ONLY IN-STATE EXAMPLE OF A PLAYER BEING A QUITTER CAME LAST YEAR WHEN CARLTON DAVIS SKIPPED AUBURN’S GAME AGAINST CENTRAL FLORIDA BEFORE BEING SELECTED IN THE SECOND ROUND (NO. 63 OVERALL) BY THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS.” tional championship game? The result only matters because we college football fans have decided we’ve chosen this as our escape from the things in the world that really matter. The result of the Alabama-Oklahoma game is not going to change the world. The Clemson-Notre Dame game won’t impact the world, either. So, it would seem that the next step for college football is for such players as Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Clemson’s Christian Wilkins and Notre Dame’s Julian Love to realize they need to make a “business decision” and skip the College Football Playoff. When that happens, I will blame Fournette and McCaffrey for making it OK to turn your back on your teammates after you committed to be with them until the end. Randy Kennedy writes a weekly column for Lagniappe and is co-host of “Sports Drive” every weekday from 3-6 p.m. on WNSP 105.5 FM, the country’s first all-sports FM station.
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STYLE HOROSCOPES BELLS WILL BE RINGING
ANSWERS FROM PAGE 38
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SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/21) — After drinking a few spiked eggnogs, you’ll invite yourself to a live nativity scene and become the fourth king. Your gift is a Juul. Your lucky stocking stuffers are Monster Energy drink temporary tattoos. CAPRICORN (12/22-1/19) — Attracted to your pecan wreath, an aggressive family of squirrels will nest at your front door. Con: They repel guests. Pro: They gather chestnuts to roast on an open fire. Your lucky stocking stuffer is a “HARDLY WORKING” coffee mug. AQUARIUS (1/20-2/18) — Reading in Lagniappe about the history of the nursery industry in Mobile and the recent legalization of hemp products, all signs point to a midcareer change to agriculture. “Grow” for it. Your lucky stocking stuffer is unfluffy divinity. PISCES (2/19-3/20) — Opening up after detecting your sympathy, Charles Dion McDowell will confide in you that while his newfound internet fame brings him no happiness, he’s always chasing that necks dollar. Your lucky stocking stuffer is a roll of Flex Tape. ARIES (3/21- 4/19) — After watching the Troy Trojans take on the Buffalo Bulls Saturday, you realize the only thing better than one Dollar General Bowl is one Dollar General Bowl per every five square miles of rural Alabama. Your lucky stocking stuffer is a single-serve hot chocolate pouch. TAURUS (4/20-5/20) — The only outrage you see in the game “Pop the Pig” is that it’s not a children’s game more accurately entitled “How Foie Gras is Made.” Am I right, Noble South “Meatless Monday” crowd? Your lucky stocking stuffer is menorah socks. GEMINI (5/21-6/21) — Anticipating the next great esport, you devote all your free time to “Goat Simluator.” Your championship move is not just licking the helicopter and flying with it, but actually piloting the helicopter after licking it. Your lucky stocking stuffer is unidentified hard candies. CANCER (6/22-7/22) — In an attempt to bring Fairhope back to its glory days of the 1990s, you propose they scrap that downtown hotel project and replace it with a drive-thru Movie Gallery’s secret back room. Your lucky stocking stuffer would be spoiled if I told you. LEO (7/23-8/22) — Seeking to mimic the success of Spanish Fort’s container park, you invest in a real estate development that repurposes the foreclosed houses of logistics employees laid off after industrywide automation. Your lucky stocking stuffer is the latest issue of “The Watchtower.” VIRGO (8/23-9/22) — Rushing to meet your 2018 letter writing quota, you send correspondence to each member of Congress wishing them a Happy New Year and challenging them to accomplish anything at all. Your lucky stocking stuffer is a shocking stocking stuffed with stuffing. LIBRA (9/23-10/22) — With warm weather defeating your hopes of a white Christmas, you can still win the bet by arguing that all of your guests arrived wearing quilted vests over button-ups and traded recipes for gluten-free fruitcake. Your lucky stocking stuffer is Al Green’s “The Christmas Album.” SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) — Seeing no sign of a successful legal mediation, you suggest the entire Mobile City Council and Mayor Sandy Stimpson use Fred Richardson’s travel budget to practice transcendental meditation and yoga with an Indian guru. Your lucky stocking stuffer is the first book in Quin Hillyer’s “Mad Jones” series.
The beginning of Mobile’s nursery industry BY MAARTEN VAN DER GIESSEN
ime is an unbroken line, but history is the intricate web woven in and out of that line. Strands of history disappear only to reappear closer to the center, or strong lines snap and fade away. This is certainly true of the nursery industry in Mobile County. Its story bobs and weaves through Auburn University and the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. If the Southern Pacific Railroad hadn’t sold its holdings outside of Houston to a Japanese lawyer, Mobile would have a far different nursery industry today. The great Mobile nurseryman Robert O. Rubel, whose Longview Nursery sold arguably the most varieties of camellia in the U.S., wrote about early camellias in Mobile (American Camellia Yearbook 1952, “Early History of Camellias in the Mobile Area”), and traced back as far as 1835 to find the first documented shipment of camellias arriving in Mobile aboard the ship Minerva from Liverpool. In the article, Rubel walks the streets of Mobile and points to the old nurseries: Bay View on the Old Shell Road (container terminal), James Crawford’s Gulf City Nursery at Ann and Government (now CVS Pharmacy) and the John Seed Florist and Nursery (now Crawford Park adjacent to Magnolia Cemetery). But he notes the largest and most important nursery was the Langdon Nursery at Langdon Station in Citronelle. Charles Carter Langdon came to Mobile from Connecticut in 1825 and was a large figure in Mobile’s history by anyone’s reckoning. He was the editor of Mobile’s two daily newspapers and mayor of Mobile from 1849 to 1855. He was also one of the founders of Alabama Mechanical and Agricultural College, now Auburn University. He ran for governor in 1872 and 1888 and served as secretary of state in 1885 and 1888. In the early 1850s Langdon established the most progressive nursery in Alabama, originally called Vineland Nursery,
later Langdon Nursery. His early catalogs have extensive lists of peaches, pears, apples and, yes, camellias and azaleas. There is a surprising number of Alabama native plants as well. Certainly he was a pioneer in the true sense of the word. Langdon ran his nursery until his death in 1889. The nursery was sold to Sam Lackland in 1925. Lackland was responsible for establishing Mobile’s Azalea Trail. Langdon’s nursery was closed, but cuttings from the plants he introduced to Mobile would be used by an unlikely Japanese nurseryman drawn in by the World’s Fair. The World’s Fair in 1904 in St. Louis was large and elaborate. According to u-s-history.com, nearly 1,500 buildings were constructed on 1,200 acres. The head of the Japanese Exhibition for the fair was a Mr. Myakawa and Consul General Sadatsuchi Uchida. Uchida was interested in establishing rice plantations in the U.S., and during his visit to the World’s Fair he convinced Seito Saibara, a lawyer studying theology in the U.S., to purchase land from the Southern Pacific Railroad outside Houston. Saibara’s business extended to growing fruit trees and ornamentals. He brought many talented people from Japan, including Tsukasa Kiyono. Saibara saw opportunity to the east of Texas and established a 370-acre division of the Saibara Nursery in Mississippi. That nursery was managed by Kiyono. A couple of years later Kiyono and his wife, Tomoe, would establish the first nursery in Semmes, the Kiyono Nursery. Kiyono rode the wave of camellia popularity in the 1930s. He was featured in Life magazine in 1939 as one of the largest camellia growers in the South. Kiyono ran his business until a 1941 buying trip to Japan ended his career. Return ticket in hand, he was not allowed to leave for the U.S. He was instead forced to remain in Japan during World War II while his nursery was attached by the U.S. government and sold at auction.
The thread of our nursery history is winding and complex, so many great people having woven their stories into the tapestry: the Smiths, the Dodds, the Sawadas. Their stories will have to wait until our next installment, tentatively scheduled to run in the space in February. The author, Maarten van der Giessen, is president of van der Giessen Nursery in Semmes. GARDEN EVENTS THAT MAKE GREAT GIFTS! What: Bellingrath Gardens Magic Christmas in Lights When: Through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 25), 5-9 p.m. Where: 1204 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore Tickets: Visit bellingrath.org for more information. What: Mobile County Master Gardeners 2019 Spring Seminar When: Monday, Feb. 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Mobile Botanical Gardens, 5151 Museum Drive, Mobile Speaker: Vince Dooley, legendary Georgia football coach, author and Mobile native, shares his passions and experience with gardening, growing camellias, hydrangeas, Japanese maples, roses and much more. 5:30 p.m. — heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, silent auction 6:30 p.m. — Coach Dooley’s presentation, “Football and Flowers” 7:30 p.m. — dessert, book-signing, silent auction Cost: $40; nonrefundable advance reservations required by Feb. 8. Mail checks payable to MCMG to 2221 Dogwood Court N., Mobile, AL 36693, or call 251-209-6425 to pay by credit card. For more information, call 251-574-8445 or email jda0002@ aces.edu.
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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Jolly Saint Neck sleighs into town?
BY BOOZIE BEER NUES/SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
t’s been a great holiday season in the bi-county area so far. Elves, tree lightings, parades with boats on water (and on land). Lots of Christmas cheer for sure. So much cheer, there has been vomiting at times. Never, ever drink more than seven (maybe eight) of the “signature holiday cocktail.” Never. Trust me on this. Anyhoo, let’s get down to business. But before we do, I hope each of you have a very Merry (and Boozie) Christmas! Photos | Boozie Spy/Downtown Mobile Alliance
Jolly Saint Neck in Port City?
Sing with me now! Jolly Old Saint Neck-olas, lean your neck this way/Don’t you tell a single soul what I’m going to say/Christmas Eve is coming soon, now you dear young man/Whisper how your neck got like that/Tell me if you can. We’ve been reporting in recent issues about the curious internet fame of Charles Dion McDowell, who was arrested in our “neck” of the woods in Escambia County, Florida, on various drug charges and eluding police. But it was not his run-in with the law that gained him this newfound fame, but rather his very large neck, which couldn’t be missed in his mugshot. Crazy folks with too much time on their hands immediately started making memes by Photoshopping his head (and neck) on various cartoons (Shrek/Neck), album covers (Neckleback) and historic photos (Loch Neck Monster), among many other things. Apparently McDowell has embraced this fame and even made a video with another web star known for his skinny neck. We live in a really, really weird world. Anyway, my gossip hotline started blowing up last week when the Cedar Street Social Club seemed to imply Mr. McDowell would be making an appearance at their Christmas party known as “The Snowball,” on Saturday, Dec. 15, posting a photo featuring “Jolly St. Neck.” Now, I am not sure if they were just promoting the event using the image of the “ neck star,” and people were reading into it or if he really made an appearance (I have not heard of any neck sightings yet), but the poster alone that made
its way around social media was just too good not to share. In any case, Jolly Saint Neck has already brought us many tidings of great joy this year. And we thank you for that, sir!
“Heavenly Metal,” which was submitted by Sabe Fink. We hope HM continues to watch over our “scene” for many years to come.
What’s in a name?
Last month the Downtown Mobile Alliance unveiled a beautiful piece of new public art by artist Bruce Larsen, who has won many Nappies for “Best Local Sculptor” (and, I am sure, far more prestigious awards than a Nappie). Anyway, the super cool piece pays tribute to our vibrant music scene and sits right outside one of our prettiest music venues, The Steeple on St. Francis. But this guitar-playing man of metal was missing something very important, a name. So the DMA held a contest and received more than 100 entries. And they have just announced he will be called
F U T U R E S H O C K
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I’ve had a couple of reports of sightings of a hot pink Mini with a vanity plate that reads “SpermDoc.” I certainly hope this is someone who is actually in the field of reproductive medicine or this could get creepy fast. I can only imagine how the conversation would go if this person got pulled over! So…um… Well kids, that’s all I got. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or some plain ol’ Heavenly Metal lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | 251.450-4466 | firstname.lastname@example.org FORECLOSURES FORECLOSURE NOTICE Default having been made in the payment of the indebtedness described in and secured by that certain vendor’s lien retained in deed from MARISA STRONG a/k/a MARISA PHILLIPS, dated April 13, 2006 and recorded Instrument No: 2006026485, Book-5951, Page190, Probate Records of Mobile County, Alabama; and the undersigned holders of said vendor’s lien having declared the entire indebtedness due and payable in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof, notice is hereby given that the undersigned, under and by virtue of the powers contained in said vendor’s lien deed, will sell at public outcry for cash to the highest bidder during the legal hours of sale the 2nd day of January, at 9:00 a.m., at the main Courthouse Street entrance of the Mobile County Courthouse at 205 Government Street, in Mobile, Alabama, the following described personal and real property lying and being situated in the County of Mobile, State of Alabama, to-wit: Lot 16, Crestview, Fourth Addition, according to plat thereof recorded in Map Book 11, Page 98, of the records of Office of the Judge of Probate of Mobile County, Alabama. EXCEPTING THEREFROM such oil, gas, and other minerals in, on and under said real property, together with all rights in connection therewith, as have previously been reserved by or conveyed to others; it being the intention of the grantor to convey to grantees only the interest grantor owns therein; Said sale is made for the purpose of paying the entire indebtedness secured by said vendor’s lien and all charges as provided therein and the expense incident thereto, including a reasonable attorney’s fee. Said property will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis subject to any easements, encumbrances, and exceptions contained in said vendor’s lien deed and those contained in the records of the Office of the Judge of Probate where the above-described property is situated. Said property will be sold without warranty or recourse, expressed or implied as to title, use and/or enjoyment, and will be sold subject to the right of redemption of all parties entitled thereto. Estate of DEBRA DONIGAN Holder of said Vendor’s Lien. Thomas B. Walsh, Esq. Walsh Law, LLC Attorney for Holder of Vendor’s Lien P. O. Box 1562 Mobile, AL 36633 (251) 433-8383 Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 26, 2018
FORECLOSURE NOTICE Default having been made by the herein referenced Grantee in the terms of that certain Vendor’s Lien Deed executed on February 14, 2014, by Derrick C. Haney, as Grantee to Iras Development Company Inc., an Alabama corporation, as Grantor which said Vendor’s Lien Deed was recorded in the Office of the Judge of Probate, Mobile County, Alabama, in Real Property Book LR7125, Page 1687; and a Correction Vendor’s Lien Deed executed April 21, 2014, recorded in the Office of the Judge of Probate, Mobile County, Alabama, in Real Property Book LR7150, Page 719, said Vendor’s Lien having been last assigned to W. Austin Mulherin , which assignment was recorded in the office of the Judge of Probate, Mobile County, Alabama, in Real Property Book 7161, Page 1484; and default continuing under said Vendor’s Lien Deed, by virtue of and pursuant to the power of sale contained in said Vendor’s Lien Deed, the following described real property will be sold at public outcry, for cash, to the highest bidder, in front of the North entrance of the Mobile County Courthouse, located at 205 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama 36644, during the legal hours of sale, on January 9, 2019. Lot 56, as per plate of RAMSEY ESTATES, UNIT II as recorded in Map Book 71, Page 103, Probate Court of Mobile County, Alabama Said sale is made for the purpose of paying said Real Estate Mortgage debt and costs of foreclosure. W. Austin Mulherin, Holder of said Vendor’s Lien WILLIAM B. JACKSON, II STOKES & CLINTON, P.C. Attorneys for Vendor’s Lien Holder Post Office Box 991801 Mobile, Alabama 36691 (251) 460-2400 Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
CIRCUIT IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA DOMESTIC RELATIONS NOTICE OF HEARING MOTION CASE NO. 02-DR-2005-501673.01S KRISTEN CUNNINGHAM-JONES, PLAINTIFF VS.
REGINALD LAMAR JONES, DEFENDANT Notice is hereby given to REGINALD LAMAR JONES, whose whereabouts are unknown, that a hearing on the MOTION TO MODIFY CUSTODY/JUDGEMENT NISI filed by KRISTEN CUNNINGHAM-JONES will be heard in the Domestic Relations Court, Second Floor Mobile Government Plaza, 205 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama, on FEBRUARY 12, 2019, at 9:00AM, at which time said REGINALD L. JONES is to appear. Done this 5th day of DECEMBER, 2018. JoJo Schwarzauer, Clerk Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama. CAITLIN SMITHERMAN P.O. Box 1986 MOBILE, AL 36633 (251)433-6560 Attorney for Kristen Cunningham-Jones. Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, Jan. 2, 9, 2019
PROBATE NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: RAYMOND LEE BAILEY Case No. 2017-1019 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 5th day of December, 2018, by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. LESTER E. BAILEY JR. as Administrator of the estate of RAYMOND LEE BAILEY, deceased. Attorney of Record: JOHN R. PARKER, Esq. Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 26, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: ALICE FORD SCHAFFER, Deceased Case No. 2018-2287 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 30th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. REBECCA S. MINTO as Executrix under the last will and testament of ALICE FORD SCHAFFER, Deceased. Attorney of Record: JAMES H. McDONALD Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 26, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: ALFREDO SEWER, Deceased Case No. 2018-2091 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 8th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. ANTHONY TYRONE SEWER as Executor under the last will and testament of ALFREDO SEWER, Deceased. Attorney of Record: HENDRIK S. SNOW Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: MARY ANN O. SERDA, Deceased Case No. 2018-2228 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 20th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. CHRISTINE S. ODOM as Executrix under the last will and testament of MARY ANN O. SERDA, Deceased. Attorney of Record: IRVIN GRODSKY Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
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NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: ALLEN R. JONES Case No. 2017-0952 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 26th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. NELSENA KING as Administratrix of the estate of ALLEN R. JONES, deceased. Attorney of Record: RACHELE ALEXANDER REIS, Esq. Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: DOROTHY WILLIAMS SMITH Case No. 2018-1909 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 26th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. TERRY C. SABREE as Administrator of the estate of DOROTHY WILLIAMS SMITH, deceased. Attorney of Record: KEVIN M. RYAN, Esq. Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: JOHN JOSEPH DONOVAN, Deceased Case No. 2018-2256 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 27th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. KEVIN BOULTON as Executor under the last will and testament of JOHN JOSEPH DONOVAN, Deceased. Attorney of Record: LESLIE G. WEEKS Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: DORIS LYNNE LANGHAM BLISSETT, Deceased Case No. 2018-1578 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 20th day of November, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. DONALD L. LANGHAM as Executor under the last will and testament of DORIS LYNNE LANGHAM BLISSETT, Deceased. Attorney of Record: PRO SE Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: JAMES D. BROOKS AKA JAMES DAVID BROOKS, Deceased Case No. 2018-1840 Take notice that Letters Testamentary have been granted to the below named party on the 27th day of November 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. MEDA B. BROOKS as Executrix under the last will and testament of JAMES D. BROOKS AKA JAMES DAVID BROOKS, Deceased. Attorney of Record: HARWELL E. COALE Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 2018
NOTICE OF COURT PROCEEDING Dec. 4, 2018 Case No. 2018-1963 IN THE PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA
Estate of JAMES M. DANNELLY, Deceased On to-wit the 7th day of January, 2019 at 9:30 AM in COURTROOM 1, THIRD FLOOR, Mobile County Government Center Annex, 151 Government Street the court will proceed to consider the Petition to Probate the Last Will and Testament of JAMES M. DANNELLY as filed by LEONARD F. SPROAT JR. NOTICE is hereby given to all parties in interest, specifically DONNA WAGUESPACK, who may appear and contest same or file a proper responsive pleading thereto if they then think proper. DON DAVIS, Judge of Probate. Attorney Name and Address: PRO SE Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 26, Jan. 2, 2019
NOTICE OF ESTATE ADMINISTRATION PROBATE COURT OF MOBILE COUNTY, ALABAMA Estate of: BRIAN SCOTT WRIGHT Case No. 2018-0325 Take notice that Letters of Administration have been granted to the below named party on the 7th day of December, 2018 by the Honorable Don Davis, Judge of Probate of Mobile County Probate Court, Alabama and that all parties having claims against said estate should file the same with the Probate Court of said county within the time allowed by law, or they will be barred. MICHELE WRIGHT as Administratrix of the estate of BRIAN SCOTT WRIGHT, deceased. PRO SE OF RECORD: MICHELE WRIGHT: Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, Jan. 2, 2019
PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT MOBILE, ALABAMA PURSUANT TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MOBILE, adopted the 16th day of May 1967, as amended, the City of Mobile’s Board of Zoning Adjustment will hold a Public Hearing on January 7, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. to consider a request at 152 & 156 South McGregor Avenue (East side of South McGregor Avenue, 125’± South of Dunleith Court [private street] for a Front Yard Setback Variance to allow a 6’-tall masonry wall to encroach 15’ within the Front Yard Setback in an R-1, Single-Family Residential District; the Zoning Ordinance does not allow masonry walls taller than 3’ within 25’ of a front property line in an R-1, Single-Family Residential District. The meeting will be held in the Auditorium at 205 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama. This notice is to advise you of the public hearing so that you may attend the meeting and present your views to the Board concerning this request. Dated this 17th day of December, 2018. BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT MOBILE, ALABAMA PURSUANT TO THE ZONING ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MOBILE, adopted the 16th day of May 1967, as amended, the City of Mobile’s Board of Zoning Adjustment will hold a Public Hearing on January 7, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. to consider a request at 563 South Broad Street (Northeast corner of South Broad Street and New Jersey Street) for a Front and Side Street Side Yard Setback and Fence Variances to allow a building to encroach within the Front Yard and Side Street Side Yard Setbacks, a covered patio to encroach 13.5’ within the Side Street Side Yard Setbacks, two (2) 13.7’±-tall entrance pylons, multiple 8.5’-tall masonry posts, and a 7.7’±-tall metal fence to be constructed along the front property line, and a 10’-tall masonry wall and 10’-tall wooden fence to be constructed along side property lines on a site in a B-2, Neighborhood Business District; the Zoning Ordinance does not allow any structure or masonry wall taller than 3’ within a Front or Side Street Side Yard Setback, and limits the height of fences and masonry walls to 8’ on a site in a B-2, Neighborhood Business District. The meeting will be held in the Auditorium at 205 Government Street, Mobile, Alabama. This notice is to advise you of the public hearing so that you may attend the meeting and present your views to the Board concerning this request. Dated this 17th day of December, 2018. BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
NOTICE OF COMPLETION STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE In accordance with Chapter 1, Title 39, Code of Alabama, 1975, notice is hereby given that Dobson Sheet Metal & Roofing Specialties, Inc. has completed the contract for:
Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center – South Tower Skylight Repairs, 1 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602. Project No. CN-082-18 for the City of Mobile, P.O. Box 1827, Mobile, AL 36633 and have made request for final settlement of said contract. All persons having any claim for labor, materials, or otherwise in connection with this project should immediately notify Dobson Sheet Metal & Roofing Specialties, Inc. 2911 Mill Street, Mobile, AL 36607 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 2018
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2019 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County; to provide for the local collection and enforcement of all county privilege, license, or excise taxes on the sale, distribution, storage, use or other consumption of tobacco products in the county. Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 26, Jan. 2, 2019
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in the 2019 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County; to amend and reenact Act 2015-258 of the 2015 Regular Session, authorizing the Mobile County Commission to create a North Mobile County Volunteer Fire Department Board to review and evaluate the delivery of volunteer fire services to property owners within the unincorporated area in Mobile County Commission District 1 and any incorporated area in the district served by a volunteer fire department; to provide further for the date to implement the fire protection and suppression plan and a fire protection and suppression service fee on certain owners of dwellings and commercial buildings in Mobile County Commission District 1; to provide for certain exemptions and collection of the service fee; to provide for audits; to provide that municipal funding shall not be diminished; and to provide for the distribution of funds derived from the service fee. Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT STATE OF ALABAMA COUNTY OF MOBILE Notice is hereby given that a bill as described in the synopsis below will be introduced in any Special Session in 2019 of the Legislature of Alabama and application for its passage and enactment will be made: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT SYNOPSIS: Relating to Mobile County; to amend and reenact Act 2015-258 of the 2015 Regular Session, authorizing the Mobile County Commission to create a North Mobile County Volunteer Fire Department Board to review and evaluate the delivery of volunteer fire services to property owners within the unincorporated area in Mobile County Commission District 1 and any incorporated area in the district served by a volunteer fire department; to provide further for the date to implement the fire protection and suppression plan and a fire protection and suppression service fee on certain owners of dwellings and commercial buildings in Mobile County Commission District 1; to provide for certain exemptions and collection of the service fee; to provide for audits; to provide that municipal funding shall not be diminished; and to provide for the distribution of funds derived from the service fee. Lagniappe HD Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26, 2018
ABANDONED VEHICLES NOTICE OF SALE The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 18, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 105 Border Circle E., Mobile, AL 36608. 2008 Lexus IS250 JTHCK262685023128 Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 18, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1037 St Stephens Rd., Prichard, AL 36610. 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis 2MECM75W8NX739325
LAGNIAPPE LEGALS | email@example.com 2010 Honda Accord 1HGCS1B74AA002497 2007 Nissan Altima 1N4AL21E57C138360 1993 GMC Sierra 2GTEC19Z2P1563392
Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 18, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3306 Springhill Ave., Mobile, AL 36607. 1989 Chevrolet Caprice 1G1BL51E6KR143873 Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 18, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7960 Two Mile Rd., Irvington, AL 36544. 1999 Honda Accord 1HGCG225XXA017018 2006 Mitsubishi Galant 4A3AB36F96E071153 2011 Ford Mustang 1ZVBP8CF7B5153769 2016 Kia Optima 5XXGU4L33GG071122 1997 Toyota Avalon 4T1BF12B4VU196936 Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 2018
These abandon vehicle’s will be sold on 01/17/2019 at 5781 Three Notch Rd Mobile Al. 36619 at 9am if not redeemed before then FORD 1FTYR10U61TA89235 DODG 1D7HA18N23S352923 CHEV 1G1AZ37G6ER140015 DODG 2D4GP44L26R855368 Lagniappe HD Dec. 12, 19, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 12, 2019 – Time – 8am, if not claimed – at 2459 Osage Street Mobile, Alabama 36617. 2015 BMW 328i WBA3B1C52FK140579 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 2201 Oconnor St., Mobile, AL 36617. 1989 Ford F150 1FTDF15YXKLA74774 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3124 Government Blvd., Mobile, AL 36606. 2006 Ford F150 1FTRF12W46NB62061 2008 Nissan Altima 1N4AL21E68N506907 1996 Chevrolet Caprice 1G1BL52P4TR119542 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 2256 Government St., Mobile, AL 36606. 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 1B7HC16Y6SS297439 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7576 Linda Smith Rd., Theodore, AL 36582. 2008 GMC Sierra 2GTEK638481274306 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 1800 Burns Rd., Daphne, AL 36526. 2000 Isuzu NPR JALC4B149Y7014530 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 150 Chieftain Way, Chickasaw, AL 36611. 2004 Nissan Maxima 1N4BA41E44C931201 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 7151 Old Pascagoula Rd., Theodore, AL 36582.
2013 Nissan Sentra 3N1AB7AP3DL713697
Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 458 Bay Shore Ave. Apt 1, Mobile, AL 36607. 1993 Cadillac Deville 1G6CD53B7P4320661
Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 4058 Moffett Rd., Mobile, AL 36618. 2007 Jeep Wrangler 1J8FA541X7L162081 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time -12pm, if not claimed - at 7960 Two Mile Rd., Irvington, AL 36544. 2011 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WG5EK5B1233448 2003 Buick LeSabre 1G4HP54K734198561 2016 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WB5E35G1102874 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe 1GNEC13V63J172436 2015 Ford Escape 1FMCU0GX8FUB08948 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time -12pm, if not claimed - at 7861 Airport Blvd., Mobile, AL 36608. 2010 Chevrolet Traverse 1GNLRFED4AS123380 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time -12pm, if not claimed - at 7665 Walter Tanner Rd., Wilmer, AL 36587. 2003 Ford SRW Super 1FTNW21P33EB42491 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 3957 Dauphin Island Parkway, Mobile, AL 36605. 2007 Ford F150 1FTRW12W87KD01711 2003 Honda CRV SHSRD78893U111742 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time -12pm, if not claimed - at 955 Elmira St., Mobile, AL 36604. 1995 Geo Prizm 1Y1SK5266SZ089083 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time - 12pm, if not claimed - at 301 N Wilson Ave., Prichard, AL 36610. 2010 Dodge Challenger 2B3CJ4DV3AH120784 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe 1GNEC13Z72R261340 2009 Chevrolet Impala 2G1WB57KX91147459 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time -12pm, if not claimed - at 2755 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36606. 2001 Ford Mustang 1FAFP42X31F219840 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
The following unclaimed vehicle(s) will be sold on January 25, 2019 - Time -12pm, if not claimed - at 7391 Zeigler Blvd., Mobile, AL 36608. 2004 Honda Accord 1HGCM82674A009992 1999 Land/Range Rover SALPV1242XA421558 2012 Ford Focus 1FAHP3H22CL393711 2011 Chevrolet Malibu 1G1ZC5EU2BF294257 Lagniappe HD Dec. 19, 26, 2018
December 19, 2018 - December 25, 2018
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