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.
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.
For the last several years to see one of the most scenic views on the Gulf Coast you have to look through a chain link fence.
“This is a dynamic pass and dynamic inlet and it’s the only place like it in this entire state,” says coastal resource manager Phillip West.
via Popular OB Fishing Spot Could Re-Open by Summer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a capital where almost anything can turn contentious, there has mostly been a consensus on a matter of housekeeping for close to two decades: A rehabilitation of a ramshackle governor’s mansion on the Gulf Coast would be political folly.
via Alabama Governor’s Use of Oil Spill Funds for Mansion Draws Criticism – The New York Times.
ORANGE BEACH, AL – Fixing Alabama Point or renovating the state’s beachfront governor’s mansion.
To Orange Beach Councilman Jeff Silvers, it’s something he would have liked to discuss had he been aware of any money lying around unused.
“I was not aware the state was holding leftover BP grant money,” Silvers said.
via Silvers: Why not fix fishing wall with leftover BP money? – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
A federal judge will hear arguments this month in a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a beach hotel and conference center.
via Hearing set in federal lawsuit to block beach hotel – FOX10 News | WALA.
FORT MORGAN, AL – Gov. Robert Bentley’s use of “leftover” BP grant money to renovate a dilapidated beachfront governor’s mansion has drawn its share of criticism. Orange Beach Councilman Jeff Silvers is one of those who think they money could have been better spent.
via Read it in Friday’s Baldwin Times: Jeff Silvers questions use of BP money on governor’s beach mansion – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
An environmental group has asked a judge to hear oral arguments in its lawsuit challenging the state of Alabama’s plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a beachfront hotel.
The Gulf Restoration Network filed the request earlier this month in federal court. The group asked for expedited arguments, citing Alabama’s continued work on the project. The state is building a new 350-room beach hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.
via Gulf Coast Hotel Lawsuit, Cell Phone Suit Claims Deadline | Alabama Public Radio.
An environmental group has asked a judge to hear oral arguments in its lawsuit challenging Alabama’s plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a 350-room beach hotel and conference center.
via Environmental group challenges use of BP funds for new hotel | AL.com.
For two weeks, work crews have been slowly making headway on the almost two million dollar renovation of the state’s beach house on Fort Morgan.
Built in the 60’s, the two-story, 75 hundred square foot Governor’s beach house was boarded up and abandoned after hurricane Danny. Restoring the structure has been a long time coming for folks like Rick Nash who live near the eyesore.
“I just want it fixed up. It will really look nice.”
via State’s Beach Mansion Getting Facelift With BP Funds.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler slammed Gov. Robert Bentley in a written statement regarding the $1.5 million renovation of the long-dilapidated Gulf Coast governor’s mansion.
Zeigler, who has publicly criticized the governor on numerous policy issues this year, claims the governor is taking advantage of state money to build a personal home after he lost ownership of his personal beach homes in his September divorce.
via Alabama auditor slams Gov. Robert Bentley for $1.5 million renovation of gulf mansion | AL.com.
FOX10 News is committed to watching how your money is spent.
We have an update on one project using BP settlement money that’s already underway.
There’s a barricade saying “Private Property” closing off a plot of land on Town Center Drive in the old Salt Aire subdivision in south Mobile County.
Mobile Baykeeper Executive Director Casi Callaway said, “It is over 150 acres of land that is now set to be acquired by Mobile County and the state of Alabama through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation pot of money that was created as result of the BP oil spill and their criminal penalties”
via Oil spill money to help provide access point to Mobile Bay – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
Federal prosecutors dropped manslaughter charges Wednesday against two BP supervisors responsible for safety aboard the oil rig where an explosion killed 11 workers and caused the nation’s worst offshore oil spill. The decision makes it increasingly likely that no one will serve jail time for the disaster.
via Deepwater Horizon explosion: Manslaughter charges against BP supervisors dropped | AL.com.
In the last five years landing a fish from the Gulf of Mexico has come with a catch.
“People still ask, is seafood safe?” says Larissa Graham with the Sea Grant Programs of the Gulf of Mexico.
A room full of scientists and researchers were tasked with finding out the answer to that question. According to Graham, “seafood’s safe and it’s delicious.”
via Gulf of Mexico Seafood – Is it Safe?.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved of spending more than $21 million on projects to restore areas of Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
Bentley said in a statement Tuesday that the money will be used to launch five projects focused on natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
via $21 Million Approved for Alabama Gulf Conservation Projects.
More than five years ago, April 20, 2010, to be exact, life on the Gulf Coast changed, and not for the better.
That is the date of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform explosion that killed 11 people and injured 17. It also resulted in 134 million gallons of crude oil being released into Gulf waters.
via Alabama Gets Update on BP Settlement Progress | Outdoor Alabama.
Done the right way, thinking outside the box and with an eye to the future, there is no reason Alabama’s share of the BP oil spill settlement cannot be the foundation of a legacy of unparalleled job creation, land acquisition and environmental protection.
As the settlement now stands, it will accomplish neither.
via The current BP oil settlement is unacceptable | AL.com.
Seven individuals, one from Alabama, have been indicted by a federal grand jury after authorities say they filed fraudulent claims totaling more than $2 billion related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The defendants were indicted on 95 counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, identity theft, and aggravated identity theft, according to the Justice Department.
via 7 indicted for fraud, ID theft after filing 40,000 oil spill claims totaling $2 billion | AL.com.
Alabama lawyers are due about $20 million in legal fees connected to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement.
Half of the legal fees – about $10 million – will benefit the Alabama Attorney General’s Office budget; the other half flow to private firms. Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the office, said staff attorneys spent five years and more than 24,000 hours negotiating the settlement.
via Alabama lawyers clean up in BP oil settlement | AL.com.
Nearly $1 billion from 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement will pour into Alabama’s general fund during the next 17 years.
What’s in dispute is how the money will be spent as cash-strapped lawmakers statewide wrangle for control of the revenue stream.
The money is the state of Alabama’s portion of the $20 billion settlement between the federal government, the five Gulf Coast states, and BP.
via What to do with Alabama’s $1 billion BP oil settlement | AL.com.
The Alabama Attorney General’s office received $10 million for its work on the BP/Deepwater Horizon settlement. In addition, the law firms deputized by the Attorney General’s office to work on the case divided another $10 million for their work. The payments did not come from a percentage of the settlements, but Governor Robert Bentley’s office told FOX10 News anchor Bob Grip the firms were paid by BP directly.
via BP settlement earns $20 million in legal fees for state, law fir – FOX10 News | WALA.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange announced late Thursday they’d reached a settlement with the owner of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig. Transocean has agreed to pay the state $20 million from damages related to the 2010 BP oil disaster.
“This agreement with Transocean is another positive step forward as we continue to recover from the effects of such a significant environmental and economic disaster,” said Bentley in a news release. The sentiments were echoed by Attorney General Luther Strange.
via Transocean Settlement Going To Alabama General Fund.
GULF SHORES, AL – The University of South Alabama Gulf Coast Campus will present its first Distinguished Lecture Series of the fall term on Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m.
Dr. Jim Connors, Dean, USA School of Continuing Education, will speak on the topic of “Mechanics of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” at the local campus at the Gulf Shores Cultural Center at 19470 Oak Road E.
via USA Distinguished Lecture Series comes to Gulf Shores on Oct. 29 – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
GULF SHORES, Ala. — While many in Alabama’s state government lauded a $2 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 oil spill, some Gulf Coast lawmakers are expressing their frustration at how that money will be appropriated.
In July Congressman Bradley Byrne R-AL1, whose district includes Alabama’s two coastal counties, detailed for Yellowhammer Radio his concerns about the settlement.
via Alabama’s coastal communities feel BP oil spill settlement is a ripoff – Yellowhammer News.
MONTGOMERY, AL – Attorney General Luther Strange announced today the details of Alabama’s settlement with BP regarding damages from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
“After five years of litigation, I am pleased to announce that Alabama’s $1 billion settlement with BP for economic damages is now officially approved by all parties,” said Attorney General Strange. “In addition, the United States has lodged a consent decree that will allow the public to comment on the global settlement of natural resource damages and federal penalties, which if approved, will bring another billion dollars to Alabama’s coastal counties.”
via Strange announces where Alabama BP money will go – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.