On Wednesday, the New York Times reported quarterback Ken Stabler had chronic traumatic encephalopathy when he died. Colon cancer took Stabler’s life on July 8. He had his brain donated to Boston University for its research into CTE, a generative brain disease tied to repeated blows to the head.
On Saturday, Stabler will be in the news again, and the report could be happier – or another disappointment for the family and fans of the former Foley High School three-sport star and Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback.
via Will the Pro Football Hall of Fame finally open its doors to Ken Stabler on Saturday? | AL.com.
Quarterback Ken Stabler’s three daughters will be in San Francisco on Saturday, representing their father as the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee decides if the Snake should be enshrined with the Class of 2016.
Stabler’s daughters – Kendra, Marissa and Alexa – are there because their father can’t be. Colon cancer claimed Stabler’s life on July 8.
Stabler, a Foley native who starred at Alabama before spending 15 seasons in the NFL, is one of the 18 finalists to be considered by the Selection Committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. He’s a finalist for the fourth time, but it’s his first try as a nominee of the Senior Committee, which examines overlooked stars whose careers ended more than 25 years ago.
via Hear what Ken Stabler’s daughters have to say about his Hall of Fame candidacy | AL.com.
If regional management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico is going to be realized any time soon, it’s apparently not going to be through the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
The Gulf Council met recently in Orange Beach, Ala., and Amendment 39, which has to do with regional management, was tabled after it lost support from the representatives from the five Gulf states.
via Regional Management of Red Snapper Delayed | Outdoor Alabama.
GULF SHORES, AL – The shoulder season is not a new concept in the resort towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but one that of late has been gathering momentum.
But one of original drivers of a shoulder season was the old Gulf State Park Lodge and Convention Center.
via Craft: Lodge is important to building shoulder season at the beach – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
Coastal insurance reform, increasing the minimum wage in Mobile County, stiffer penalties on gun sales to children, and eliminating Common Core educational standards are among the proposals South Alabama lawmakers are pushing during this spring’s legislative session.
via South Alabama lawmakers tackle minimum wage, gun sales and coastal insurance in spring session | AL.com.
Historically oyster reefs were managed only for harvesting. As a result, oyster reefs today are critically endangered. According to a recent report by Nature Conservancy scientists, shellfish reefs worldwide have declined dramatically, including the loss of 85 percent of oyster reefs globally. Fishing practices, such as dredging, along with drought and predators have played a role in their demise. But through a collaborative movement of volunteers, scientists, educators and local businesses, the tides may be turning for the Gulf Coast oyster reefs.
via Saving oysters: Nature’s own superheroes at work | AL.com.
Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft hopes a revitalized Gulf State Park and rebuilt lodge will not only rehabilitate the coastal environment, but also show visitors a side of the state he says many outsiders don’t know exists.
“Some people don’t even know Alabama has a beach,” Craft said. “I think there’s kind of a negative perception of Alabama out there in some circles. This project will attract people to our coastal cities and we will get to show them the Alabama we all know and love. I think the biggest benefit of the project is that it will improve the state’s image, person by person.”
via Master plan unveiled for Gulf State Park enhancements – LagniappeLagniappe.
When it comes to campaign cash, the rematch for South Alabama’s congressional seat isn’t shaping up like much of a contest.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope, far outpaced Republican challenger Dean Young in fundraising from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, according to federal elections documents, and was able to secure a recent endorsement from the National Rifle Association.
via Bradley Byrne outpacing rival Dean Young in campaign fundraising | AL.com.
Executives at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama are predicting losses of $135 million in 2015, mostly due to the costs of insuring patients who gained coverage under Obamacare.
The insurance company has already tallied losses of $109 million through the end of October. The final results will be available at the beginning of March, according to a statement released by the company.
via Blue Cross of Alabama predicts $135 million loss in 2015, mostly due to Obamacare | AL.com.
Since his reelection in 2014, state Sen. Trip Pittman has insisted he won’t seek another term, but I’m not sure I believed him until now.
“I’ve gone beyond term limits with this,” he said this week.
Pittman, it turns out, isn’t merely interested in ending his own career. He wants to abolish the whole upper house. This week the Baldwin County lawmaker is proposing an amendment to the Alabama Constitution of 1901 that would abolish the Alabama Senate.
via Alabama senator proposes disbanding Alabama Senate | AL.com.
Visit an Alabama state park in 2016 and you could win one of 12 prize packs and earn a shot at a grand prize in the Eighth Day Escape adventure series and contest. Monthly prize drawings will be held throughout the year with the first on February 8.
The Eighth Day Escape adventure series and contest will highlight park nature, recreational opportunities and offer tips for planning a visit to an Alabama state park. Park naturalist Emily Vanderford will be your guide on the adventure series. Join Emily as she shares her state park adventures through the Parks Explorer column on alapark.com.
via State Parks Announces Eighth Day Escape Adventure Series and Contest | Outdoor Alabama.
The “Mayday” call crackled over the radio of a boat called “Safe Returns”.
“Boat calling Mayday, this is Salty Dog. We are 55 nautical miles south of Perdido Pass. Please state again your position, over.” 60 miles off-shore, Lance Williams and five buddies had been diving when a call came for help and they knew they were the best chance.
via Only on 5: “We’re taking on Water”.
Alabama gets high marks today in Southern Living, as the magazine lists “The South’s Most Iconic Music Festivals and Venues.”
Three festivals and one concert venue in our state make the grade, covering points in North, Central and South Alabama. They’re in good company, listed alongside major events such as the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, South by Southwest and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
via Alabama gets kudos on Southern Living list of ‘South’s Most Iconic Music Venues and Festivals’ | AL.com.
Tuesday could be the most active severe weather day Alabama has seen in a while.
Strong to severe storms are expected to roll through the state later this afternoon, bringing with them the threat of damaging winds, hail and even a few tornadoes.
via Severe weather threat for large part of Alabama today | AL.com.
After years of debating how to spend $85.5 million in BP restoration funds, the Gulf State Park has finally presented its master plan for park enhancement.
In that master plan, the long-awaited lodge and meeting center will be built, planners say, by 2018.
The park will also add nature trails, restore protective sand dunes, build a learning campus, and build an environmental information center with the money.
via Gulf State Park Lodge plans announced, completion expected by 20 – FOX10 News | WALA.
Human trafficking expert Marina Anderson told Channel Three News the majority of human trafficking in Northwest Florida is sex trafficking, with most of the victims being transported right along I-10.
Anderson knows this reality all too well. She was a Florida Child Protective Investigator for thirteen years before joining the Office of Child Welfare in 2015.
Anderson said sex trafficking peaks during big events like concerts, political rallies and sporting events.
via Human trafficking problem along the Gulf Coast – WEAR – Pensacola Top Stories – ABC.
The calendar may say January, but it could feel more like March in parts of Alabama by this weekend.
Temperatures are expected to stay near seasonal on Thursday and into Friday, but then the weather pattern is expected shift and bring almost springlike temperatures to the state.
via Spring preview coming this weekend to Alabama | AL.com.
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is currently seeking applications for summer internships in both his Washington, D.C. and Mobile offices. Applicants must be current college students in order to apply.
via Congressman Byrne Looking For Summer Interns.
More than two years ago, Governor Robert Bentley signed a deal to use 58 and a half million dollars of BP money to rebuild a lodge and convention center in Gulf State Park on the same 29-acre site where the old hotel and convention center once stood. That was before Hurricane Ivan wiped it out.
via Fate of New Park Lodge in Hands of Federal Judge.
Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission are conducting a tour along the Gulf Coast to consider the feasibility of bringing passenger rail back to the Gulf Coast, more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina damaged the tracks.
via Mobile visit planned as Amtrak considers New Orleans to Orlando route | AL.com.
The process for awarding $58 million of BP oil spill fines for a beachfront hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park was flawed and failed to consider alternative projects, an attorney with an environmental advocacy group argued before a federal judge Tuesday.
But attorneys representing the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Alabama, along with a representative of the Gulf Shores-based project, said they were in the legal right to do what they did in 2014, when the project was initially approved.
via Environmentalists, state spar over beachfront hotel and conference center | AL.com.
The wrangling over red snapper continues, and, for the umpteenth consecutive time, red snapper will dominate the Monday-through-Thursday Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council meeting in Orange Beach, Alabama.
It remains difficult to believe that a species beyond its recovered goals in the western Gulf of Mexico continues to be such a contentious issue.
Red snapper, really?
via Macaluso: Beware of wolf in sheep’s clothing | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
It wasn’t just hunger that brought Eric Erdman to Irvington for Lunch with the Artist: It was addiction.It all started in late 2012 and early 2013, when the prolific Mobile singer-songwriter-rocker spent a couple of months in Australia. He traveled and performed with The Hussy Hicks, an Australian duo that has found a second home in coastal Alabama, and recorded material for his 2013 album “Color the Silence.”
via Lunch with the Artist: Eric Erdman finds a Thai fix in Irvington | AL.com.
The Episcopal Church’s acceptance of same-sex marriage has surfaced as a campaign issue in South Alabama where conservative candidate Dean Young is accusing U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne for being too lenient on the issue.
Young, an Orange Beach developer who is challenging the incumbent congressman during the March 1 Republican primary, is linking Byrne’s affiliation with the Episcopal Church to the issue.
via Baptist rival attacks Congressman’s Episcopal faith, says too tolerant on gay marriage | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, AL – Tom Steber seemed weary, resigned as he contemplated his interactions with BP.
Looking over the Zeke’s Marina complex the general manager could tick off five or six separate claims against the oil giant following the 2010 oil spill related to the marina that are yet to be paid.
via ‘The needs on the coast have been met’ – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
South Alabama has seen some damage from the heavy weather that moved through the state overnight Thursday into Friday.
FOX10 News reporter Steve Alexander is reporting from Atmore and other spots Friday morning on FOX10 News. He has observed straight line damage, with trees and power lines down in places.
via Heavy weather overnight leaves trees, power lines downed across – FOX10 News | WALA.
With Panama City Beach clamping down on spring break hedonism, should the Alabama coast be bracing for a season of mayhem?
That fear has been raised lately among some in the Gulf Shores-Orange Beach area, but local officials say they don’t see much cause for concern – and they say they’re fully prepared to shut down any public misbehavior that could damage the area’s carefully cultivated reputation as a family-friendly destination.
via Spring Break 2016: If you bring Panama City Beach chaos to Alabama, ‘you’re going to jail’ | AL.com.
The Board of Trustees of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust will hold its first quarterly meeting on February 4, 2016, at the Richard Beard Building, Agriculture and Industries Auditorium, 1445 Federal Dr., Montgomery, Ala. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m.
via Forever Wild Board Meets in Montgomery February 4 | Outdoor Alabama.
GULF SHORES, AL – A City of Gulf Shores project and an Alabama Department of Transportation project are scheduled to begin the week of Jan. 18 on Alabama 59 in Gulf Shores.
The City of Gulf Shores and the Alabama Department of Transportation will complete work simultaneously in order to minimize any disruptions.
via Sidewalk and access management project to begin next week in Gulf Shores – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
Ripping out the old and making it like new again. Work on the Governor’s mansion at the beach has a lot of folks scratching their heads.
via Baldwin Repair Projects Remain While Gov. Mansion Rebuilt.