The movement toward increased funding for schools within the Baldwin County Public School System is marching forward as officials in both Fairhope and Gulf Shores weigh new special tax districts they hope would mean millions in additional dollars for schools in their feeder patterns.
As leaders eye the potential loss of the countywide penny tax in 2018 and see the school system’s loss of 1 mill of property tax funding on the ballot in March, those at the municipal and county levels see a great opportunity in special tax districts.
via Tax districts could mean millions for island, Eastern Shore schools – LagniappeLagniappe.
From a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk atop Alabama’s highest mountain at Cheaha State Park to heart-pumping hikes on one of the 52 miles of trails in Oak Mountain State Park, the Alabama State Parks trails system has a hike that can provide stress relief or produce a beneficial workout for your cardio system.
And that’s only going to get better with a renewed commitment to make that trails system the best it can be.
The first step happened when State Parks Director Greg Lein tapped Ken Thomas to become the State Parks Trails Coordinator.
via State Parks Plans Expanded, Improved Trails System | Outdoor Alabama.
Columbia Southern University (CSU) will present the CSU Knights Run 5K on Saturday, May 7 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala.
The run, the first of its kind for CSU, will take place on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail which is a paved path that winds through the Gulf State Park in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. The event kicks off at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 8:30 a.m. There will be refreshments, sponsor booths and an awards ceremony followed by an after-party at the Sportsplex.
via Columbia Southern University set to present CSU Knights Run 5K | Benzinga.
How you feel and how you voted on the Baldwin County tax renewals depends heavily on where you live.
The top nine voting precincts casting the most “no” votes are mostly rural and mostly in the far north part of the county.
via Stark Geographical Divide in Baldwin Tax Vote.
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.
Gulf Shores was awarded a $100,000 grant to widen the Fort Morgan Road Trail from eight to 10 feet to allow more diverse use. The 5.3-mile-long trail extends from the Peninsula residential golf community to Gulf State Park connecting it with 15 miles of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. The increase in width will accommodate walkers and joggers, and those with bicycles, wheelchairs or strollers.
via Bentley awards $1.6 million in grants for Alabama parks, trails | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, AL – Teams and individual riders took to the Backcountry Trails to conduct a scavenger hunt in a Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The one conducted in April was such fun organizers decided to have another one in October. The weather was perfect for riding the trails.
via Peddle for a Cure in Orange Beach – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
ORANGE BEACH, AL – The City of Orange Beach Relay for Life Team is gearing up for another bicycle scavenger hunt on the Backcountry Trail.
The first hunt in May was so much fun that participants asked for another one in the fall. Peddle to the Treasure For A Cure, Bicycle Scavenger Hunt is being hailed as a family friendly ride on the Back Country Trails of Orange Beach.
via Peddle For A Cure returns with fall Orange Beach event – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
The coastal counties of Mobile and Baldwin are balking at the BP settlement with the state that sends a billion dollars to Montgomery where Gov. Bentley says it will go into the general fund.
via Local Legislators Want Half of State’s BP Money.
A study just released by the University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business shows good news for those looking for a job in the service industry. Not only are there plenty of jobs available, but they can also come with great pay.
Do you want a job, but just can’t seem to find one? You might want to head to southern Baldwin County. Not only are there jobs available right now, but the pay is good. According to a study conducted by Doctor David Turnipseed of USAs Mitchell College of Business, that’s a trend that’s likely to continue at least through 2020. Bob Higgins, chairman of the Coastal Resilience Coalition requested the study to assess the impact of labor demand on wages.
via Study shows southern Baldwin in need of service industry workers – FOX10 News | WALA.
Inspired by 2,500 survey responses, Gulf State Park – Alabama’s most popular state park – is showing off ideas for a Restoration Project that could bring new features and upgrades worth $135 million.
The latest showing came last week in Gulf Shores at the second of three open-house events. The final open house is set for July 23, likely at the park.
via Treehouse cabins, water taxis, new HQ: Ideas abound for $135 million Gulf State Park project | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, AL – Off the beaten path, but not too far, is the new addition of camping to the Backcountry Trail on the Cotton Bayou Trail in Orange Beach.
“It’s just a cool little walk in the dunes,” Phillip West, coastal resources director for Orange Beach, said. “And this environment to me just looks like the southwestern U.S. You almost feel like you’re somewhere in Arizona, the stubby pines and everything.”
via Walk-in camping now available on Backcountry Trail – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
Alabama State Parks will host several guided hikes in celebration of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6. National Trails Day was created by the American Hiking Society to promote the importance of hiking trails in the U.S. The hikes will be led by park naturalists and volunteers and will take place at various state parks throughout the state. The hikes are free and no reservations are necessary. Park entrance fees are required where applicable.
via Alabama State Parks Celebrates National Trails Day with Guided Hikes on June 6.
The clinking of handcuffs was the only sound that came from Justin Lott as he was taken to jail Tuesday afternoon. Less than an hour before, a jury found him guilty of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the accident, which cost 19-year-old Kasey Waychoff her life.
“We are thankful. We are grateful. We are relieved. This jury, you could tell, that it, this case has taken a toll on anybody that’s been around it,” Baldwin County Assistant District Attorney Teresa Heinz said.
via Kasey Waychoff’s parents “grateful, relieved” after conviction – FOX10 News | WALA.
ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - Get out and enjoy beautiful Orange Beach, get some exercise, and raise money for a great cause all with one event. “Peddle to the Treasure” Bicycle Scavenger Hunt is scheduled for this weekend! Here’s more from organizers:
“Peddle to the Treasure” is a fundraiser for Relay for Life. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 2 and is a new event. It is a bicycle scavenger hunt on the Back Country Trails of Orange Beach. Participants will be given a map and list of ‘treasures’ to find during the hunt. Some treasures will be pictures with certain things and others will be actual finds to bring back. This is not a race but an opportunity to get out on the beautiful trails and also raise money for a good cause.
FOX10 News | WALA
via “Peddle to the Treasure” Bicycle Scavenger Hunt for Relay For Li – FOX10 News | WALA.
Last year, first lady Diane Bentley helped celebrate what she called “Alabama’s hidden treasures” with a ride on the zip line at Gulf State Park.
That celebration seems short-lived as state park system director Greg Lein announces 15 of Alabama’s 22 state parks will have to close because of what he calls the chronic funding crisis of state government. “That includes closing some of these small rural parks that never operate in the black. There’s no way to make them operate in the black and so all we’re trying to do is staunch the bleeding.”
via 15 State Parks Set to Close.
ORANGE BEACH, AL — The City of Orange Beach – Relay for Life Team is gearing up for a completely new event for its fund raising efforts. The 1st Annual Peddle to the Treasure – For A Cure, Bicycle Scavenger Hunt is being hailed as a family friendly ride on the Back Country Trails of Orange Beach.
via Orange Beach Relay for Life to present Peddle for a Cure – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
Just in time for summer vacation season, Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein told FOX10 News he’s regrettably putting 15 state parks on the chopping block.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will lose $11.4 million in funds by May 1st, if Governor Robert Bentley’s tax increase package proposal is not passed.
Of that $11.4 million, $10.4 million would be cut from the state park system.
FOX10 News | WALA
via 15 state parks could close in less than a month – FOX10 News | WALA.
The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office released its crime statistics for 2014 and compared the data from 2013. Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack said he is encouraged by the fact that crime has stayed relatively flat despite noticeable growth in the county.
“I felt real good about that because our call volume also increased. So while the number of calls went up, the number of criminal activity actually remained about the same,” Mack said.
via BCSO pleased about recent crime statistics – FOX10 News | WALA.
ROBERTSDALE, Ala. — There’s an old weather saying, “What happens in November, winter remembers.” A relatively mild December may have dulled memory of the record-setting cold across the Gulf Coast in the month of November (2014) but a January arctic blast will remind regional residents and visitors of winter’s presence.
via Gulf Coast region braces for arctic chill – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
BAY MINETTE, Ala. — The Baldwin County Commission approved its Solid Waste Department to hold Baldwin Clean Sweep 2015. All Baldwin County residents are encouraged to participate in Baldwin Clean Sweep 2015 and dispose of debris for free on Saturday, Jan. 10.
via Baldwin residents can participate in Clean Sweep on Saturday, Jan. 10 – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and many News 5 viewers and Facebook users found beauty, science and mystery in our skies this year. Here’s the annual compilation of some of the best photos sent to WKRG News 5, selected by Chief Meteorologist Alan Sealls.
via Best Weather Photos of 2014.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) – Santa came a few days early for two Baldwin County families. Because of the generous donations of some and the hard work of the folks at Advanced Transmission, two families in need got cars as Christmas presents. Friday, December 19, 2014 may have started out rainy and dreary, but that didn’t put a damper on a very special day at Advanced Transmission in Spanish Fort.
via Car giveaway eases Christmas pain | FOX10 News | Fox10tv.com
DAPHNE, Ala. (WPMI) On Saturday, family and friends of Melea Ponder-White will gather to mourn the death and celebrate the life of the 31-year-old Fairhope woman as she is laid to rest.
via Funeral for Melea White Set for Saturday – WPMI – Mobile Top Stories – LOCAL 15.
December 16, 2014 – Orange Beach, AL – (OBA) – On Dec. 19 a lunch on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail will be the site of a benefit for Mary’s Shelter. The lunch out on the trail is a way to thank the community for its support and to benefit Mary’s Shelter. It will include red beans and rice, hotdogs, sweets and sodas at $5 per person and proceeds will go to Mary’s Shelter.
via Backcountry Trail lunch Friday to benefit Mary’s Shelter.
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – Sports tourism has generated an estimated $30 million in direct visitor spending on south Baldwin County this year alone, but it comes at a price. Orange Beach has hosted the Southeastern Conference Women’s Soccer Championships for the last decade and with the latest contract running out after 2015, the city is hoping that lighting upgrades at the sportsplex will be enough to keep the tournament on Alabama’s coast.
via Orange Beach looks to ink SEC soccer contract extension; sportsplex upgrades needed | AL.com.
Thomas Tucker, 66, of Ronie Foley Road in Robertsdale, was reportedly indicted on Thursday by a Baldwin County grand jury after he was booked Tuesday, Dec. 2, charged with two counts of felony sexual abuse, second degree. According to jail records he has been released on a $40,000 bond.
via Elsanor ranch owner facing new charges of sexual abuse – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — The international travel website www.JustShortOfCrazy.com has named the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail as one of the top seven in the United States, ranked Number 2 according to a release on the site. The Orange Beach Trail, which traverses much of Alabama’s Gulf State Park, checked in on the top trails list right behind the world-famous 2,500 mile Pacific Crest Trail.
via Branyon Backcountry Trail named #2 place to hike in the U.S. – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
GULF SHORES, AL — Reporter Jessica Jones sat down with Joanie Flynn, vice president of marketing for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism to talk about the new Welcome Center the tourist agency is building on Alabama 59.
via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism to open welcome center in Gulf Shores this spring – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
BAY MINETTE, Ala. — Interim Baldwin County schools Superintendent Robbie Owen was unanimously approved as the district’s permanent replacement in that position at a Thursday night meeting of the Board of Education.
via Baldwin School Board votes in Owen as permanent Superintendent – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.