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.
I saw a monarch the other day. I might not have noticed a sole monarch butterfly a decade ago, when hundreds of them bobbed around my garden. But this is a desperate time for monarchs, and seeing just one butterfly is a cause for wonder.
via How the Gulf Coast can save the monarchs | AL.com.
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — By most accounts, 19-year-old Brittney Wood was with uncle Donnie Holland the night of May 30, 2012, the last time anyone saw her. Holland — who was under investigation for horrific sex crimes at the time — died from a bullet within days in what was ruled a suicide. The investigation that followed has publicly unraveled what authorities describe as a dark, twisted tale of perversion in the working-class neighborhoods and piney backwoods of coastal Alabama.
via How did the child sex ring surrounding Brittney Wood’s disappearance go unnoticed for so long? | AL.com.
GULF SHORES, AL – Running Scared is back and promises to be a fun treat for people of all ages. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail Foundation will host the revival of locals-favorite Running Scared 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run on Oct. 25.
via Running Scared 5k Run/Walk and Wicked Woods Halloween Festival Offer Fun for All Ages – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Bob Tidwell has been decidedly against voting in new taxes to start an Independent school system in Orange Beach. When the vote was announced about 7:40 on Tuesday evening his first thought was of the funding disparity between the Orange Beach Education Excellence group and the Citizens Against A Tax Hike and School Split. “It was David vs. Goliath and David won,” Tidwell said after the result was announced. “When you are outspent $65,000 to $5,000, that’s pretty good.”
via Lower funded No campaign prevails in Orange Beach – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) – Crews finally got to work Monday cleaning up debris in several waterways in south Baldwin County caused by April’s flooding. Work was supposed to begin two months ago, but the Federal Environmental Management Agency (FEMA) put a hold on the project to further assess the environmental impact.
via Crews begin storm debris cleanup | FOX10 News
ROBERTSDALE, Ala. — The Robertsdale City Council voted Tuesday to pass its fiscal year 2015 budget with revenues and expenses totaling nearly $19 million. With the opening of the new Walmart Supercenter slated for later this month, the next year’s budget reflects additional revenues of more than $1 million, most of which were attributed to the retail giant, officials said Monday.
via Increased revenues from Walmart included in $19 million Robertsdale city budget – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – Country music star Dierks Bentley got the Independence Day weekend started with a high-energy, hit-filled set at the Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach Thursday night that pulled the whole crowd into the easy-flowing, good time spirit.
via Dierks Bentley starts holiday weekend with high-fiving, beer-chugging set at The Wharf in Orange Beach | AL.com.
BAY MINETTE, Alabama — The Baldwin County Commission decided Tuesday to turn down a request from the state to take on the responsibility of removing debris deposited in state waterways in April by a flood. The commission voted 4-0 to notify the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by letter of its decision not to remove the debris.
via Baldwin County rejects request to remove debris from state waters | AL.com.
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama — Those spending the Independence Day holiday at the beach this year have another entertainment option as country music star Dierks Bentley has announced a performance on Thursday, July 3 at the Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
via Dierks Bentley announces July 3 show at The Wharf in Orange Beach | AL.com.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) Bradley Byrne, Baldwin EMA director Mitchell Sims and commissioner Tucker Dorsey did a flyover of the damage Friday morning in Baldwin County. Two thousand homes in that county took on water during the floods.
via Tucker Dorsey: Road Repair to Cost $10M – WPMI LOCAL 15 News – Top Stories
After 60 years of ministry, Sister Julie Guillot, founder of Eastern Shore Affordable Houses and Sister Julie’s Resale Shop, is retiring.
Guillot grew up in Mobile and felt called to ministry at an early age.
via Sister Julie retires after 60 years in ministry on Eastern Shore – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: Features.
It took a jury 1 1/2 hours Wednesday to find a Grand Bay man guilty of several charges stemming from two shootings at a mobile home park in Baldwin County.
Frederick Odom, 42, was convicted of capital murder in the 2011 death of Alvino Rodriguez of Honduras.
via Grand Bay man convicted in 2011 shootings | baldwincountydistrictattorney.
GULF SHORES, AL – Holy Spirit Thrift Shop recently awarded a grant of $350 to the Gulf Shores Starfish Swim Team. The Starfish swim team is the only Special Olympic swim team in Baldwin County, training handicapped participants to qualify for the State Special Olympics.
via Holy Spirit donates to Starfish Swim Team – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
It’s one of the fastest growing school systems in the state.
“The projection if we continue to grow at roughly two and a half percent a year, we’re going to become not only the, currently we’re fourth largest in the state, we will get somewhere close to second in the state,” says superintendent Alan Lee.
via Baldwin School Sales Tax Talk.
November 15, 2013, Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) – There may have been rain, but that did not dampen the spirits of the more than 120 people who came to celebrate the opening of the newest trail in the Backcountry Trail system at a special ribbon-cutting event on Friday, Nov. 15 at noon.
Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources State Parks Division Director Greg Lein, Carolyn Doughty, Mayor Pro Tempore of Gulf Shores, County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey, City Councilman Jerry Johnson, and many other city and county officials and community leaders, as well as trail namesake Mr. Hugh S. Branyon himself, were on hand for the special luncheon and ribbon cutting event at the Gulf State Park headquarters.
via Coyote Crossing joins the beloved paths of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail system.