Supporters of a Baldwin County School tax referendum and opponents will get a chance to voice their positions during two public Republican-related events on Saturday and Monday, and an informational meeting Tuesday at the Daphne Public Library.
The Baldwin County GOP’s executive committee meeting will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Robertsdale City Hall and will include presentations from both proponents and opponents of the March 31 tax referendum.
via Forums scheduled on the Baldwin County school referendum as campaign heats up | AL.com.
Emotions ran high during the Baldwin County Board of Education’s regular meeting on Thursday night; the last such meeting before a polarizing property-tax referendum is put in voters hands on March 31.
A majority of the school board members and other personnel have come out in favor of the 8-mill tax increase, which they say will be used to fund the system’s $350 million capital campaign. But the issue has strong opposition, and citizens on both sides came out to the Bay Minette meeting to speak.
via Read what citizens had to say about the proposed Baldwin County property tax increase | AL.com.
From its beginnings as a week-long Arts and Crafts tour in 1952 to a festival that drew an estimated 300,000 people in 2013, the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival has made a name for itself.
But what’s the secret?
To get a feel for what the event offers and to get to know a few faces in the crowd, AL.com asked five artists and a Daphne couple a few questions.
via In their own words: Artists, patrons speak about Fairhope Arts and Crafts Fest | AL.com.
GULF SHORES, AL — Having only been together since the Summer of 2009, Big Daddy Love- – founded by high school friends from the rural mountains of Sparta, N.C.– was just playing a handful of North Carolina markets when they made their first trip to Floyd in 2010, where they won the prestigious “Under The Radar” contest for the best new artist at the large, Virginia festival.
via Big Daddy Love to open Meyer Park series on March 26 – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Watch out Forrest Gump! Margarett Frisby, a 2012 alumna of the University of Alabama and resident of Orange Beach is spending her summer running across the country, raising money for cancer patients.
via Alabama woman to run across the U.S. this summer to raise money for cancer patients – Yellowhammer News.
The Flora-Bama empire on the Alabama-Florida state line is continuing to expand, with the purchase of another prime piece of real estate on Perdido Beach Boulevard. Flora-Bama co-owner John McInnis III confirmed Friday that the Flora-Bama owners had closed on a deal to purchase the Happy Harbor on the Line property, located directly across the street from the Flora-Bama’s main building.
via Flora-Bama continues expansion, buys neighboring Happy Harbor on the Line | AL.com.
With another stretch of wet weather moving into the central Gulf Coat through at least the first part of next week, fishermen are going to have to look for small weather windows to even comfortably get out on the water.
Catching fish is going to be a whole separate challenge, especially on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and around Mobile Bay where muddy fresh water continues to make it tough finding consistent speckled trout and redfish action.
via Reel Report: Rain, rain won’t go away | AL.com.
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.
ORANGE BEACH, AL (WALA) - With spring just around the corner, people living on the Gulf Coast may be thinking about boating, either in the Gulf or the Mobile Delta. And, just like cars, marine technology has evolved over the years.
Boat and yacht dealers around the area hope for strong sales this spring and summer as people start thinking about fishing or enjoying a nice boat ride.
He said watercraft have new models just like cars, and there’s an emphasis on efficiency.
FOX10 News | WALA
via New watercraft: emphasis on efficiency – FOX10 News | WALA.
On the same day of the Baldwin County School Board’s last regularly scheduled meeting before voting day, FOX10 News took a tour of Gulf Shores Elementary – one of the most crowded schools in the county.
During the tour, Julie Pierce, Principal of the school, showed FOX10 the results of severe overcrowding. Some 11 classes are either in closets, split in half, or share one room. There are also 11 portable classrooms on the campus.
FOX10 News | WALA
via Classes in closets: Why Gulf Shores Elementary is begging for th – FOX10 News | WALA.
If you drew money out of the ATM at the Trustmark or Hancock Banks in Daphne, or in the Florida panhandle, you should check your bank account for suspicious activity.
“We were called by the bank and they had found a skimmer which takes people’s credit card numbers when they use the ATM,” says Captain Judson Beedy with the Daphne Police Department.
via ATM Skimmers Found At Daphne Banks.
Beefed up patrols along the beach but more importantly on the beach as Gulf Shores police warn spring breakers to mind their manners.
“It’s probably all alcohol related. Fighting, drunk and disorderly, people urinating in public, things like that,” says Gulf Shores Police Sgt. Jason Woodruff.
The beaches are packed this week with more than half a dozen colleges on spring break.
via Gulf Shores Police Warning Spring Breakers.
Ah, those beautiful flowers. Plants are coming to life with the bright colors of the season. What isn’t there to love about spring? Well, there is the sneezing, coughing, headaches, and stuffy nose associated with a high pollen count.
The popular wisdom says all we need is some rain to come wash all this pollen away. But a local ear, nose, and throat doctor, Dr. John Wilson told News 5, “Rain sometimes can make the trees more healthy and increase the pollination. So a few days later, if you’ve had a dry spell, if you have rain the trees are all healthy again and giving you more pollen.”
via High Pollen Count Irritating Sinuses.
Those for and against the proposed 8-mill increase to Baldwin County property taxes have offered the public their respective takes on the school system’s financial status, and it’s no surprise there’s disagreement in the figures.
The issue goes to a vote on March 31.
More than a week ago, the group Citizens for Accountability and Excellence in Education published a website – EducateBaldwinNow.com – that made a host of claims about what it called the Baldwin County School Board’s “mismanagement” of the system’s funds. The website lists “5 Reasons to Vote No,” with each point offering slides and other breakdowns of its assertions, using some information taken from Baldwin County and state education sources.
via Baldwin County tax vote: here are the financial arguments given by those for and against referendum | AL.com.
While statistics show very few Baldwin County residents bicycle to work, demand for bicycling facilities in some communities is growing.
But there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, shops and other facilities around the county without bicycle racks and other means to integrate their business for biking.
via Bicycling, tourism subject of day-long event Wednesday in Fairhope | AL.com.
Beach weddings have always been popular on Alabama’s coast and now a reef-focused nonprofit is taking it to another level.
On Thursday, a shell-covered concrete cross is being deployed at the nearshore reef called “Poseidon’s Playground.” Once it’s in place in about 38 feet of water, 3.5 miles off the coast of Orange Beach, it will begin serving as an altar for underwater wedding ceremonies, according to Vince Lucido, president of the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation.
via Watery weddings: Underwater altar coming to Alabama coast at ‘Poseidon’s Playground’ | AL.com.
The president of the Baldwin County Board of Education on Wednesday said opponents of the proposed property tax increase are “seeking to destroy the reputation of our school system” in advance of the March 31 vote.
In a letter sent to parents, school system employees and the media Board President, and District 4 representative, Norm Moore was very direct about those opposing the 8-mill tax increase, meant to fund the system’s $350 million capital campaign.
via Baldwin school board president accuses tax opponents of desperate smear campaign, and they respond | AL.com.
BAY MINETTE, AL — According to court records Shaun Cassidy, 67, of Orange Beach was officially indicted by a Baldwin County Grand Jury on child sex abuse charges during the panels latest session.
via Orange Beach man officially indicted on child sex charges – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
FAIRHOPE, Ala. – The Eastern Shore will have an estimated 250,000 visitors this weekend as the 63rd Annual Arts and Crafts Festival hits the streets of downtown Fairhope Friday through Sunday.
via Arts and Crafts Festival back in downtown Fairhope this weekend – GulfCoastNewsToday.com: News.
GULF SHORES, Ala.(WPMI) It’s an all out campaign that includes posting the latest Spring Break arrests on Facebook in hopes someone gets that message and that “Spring Breakers” get the warning.
“Each morning this week the jail has been full you know they let a few out and they fill it back up that evening, said Sgt. Jason Woodruff with the Gulf Shores Police Department. More than 1,700 calls were made to the local police most of them complaints during the first two weeks of March. “It probably all alcohol related fighting, drunken disorderly, people urinating in public things like that,” said Woodruff.
via GSPD Issues Warning About Bad Beach Behavior – WPMI – Mobile Top Stories – LOCAL 15.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) There’s less than two weeks until voters will head to the polls and decide whether to approve an 8-mill property tax increase that will fund a capital improvements plan for the Baldwin County School System. If the increase is approved, the property tax rate in Baldwin County will go up from 12 to 20-mills.
via Baldwin Referendum Vote Looming – WPMI – Mobile Top Stories – LOCAL 15.
Escambia County will spend $287,500 to spruce up downtown for the holidays and ring in the new year as part of $2.3 million that was allocated for tourism-related activities.
The funds were generated by tourism development tax money, which is a 4 percent tax on the total payment received for the rental or lease of living quarters and accommodations in a hotel, motel, rooming house and other short-term living quarters.
via County allocates $2.3M for tourism.
The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show will take place this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 19-22 in Orange Beach, Alabama. Believe it or not there will be over 80 million dollars’ worth of boats and marine products to see at The Wharf this weekend.
The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, then from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Regular admission to The Wharf Boat & Yacht Show is only $7, children under 12 are admitted free, and there is no charge for parking.
via Big boat show in Orange Beach this weekend.
An Orange Beach man was indicted by a Baldwin County grand jury last month on charges that he sodomized a minor and furnished synthetic marijuana to the youth.
Shaun Cassidy, 66, 2555 Canal Road, Lot No. 18, was arrested in December 2013 on charges that he victimized multiple male juveniles.
via Orange Beach man indicted on sex, drug crimes to minors | AL.com.
It took a while for them to finally show, but University of Alabama spring breakers finally made their presence known at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on Wednesday afternoon. Like the last four days, Texas has been dominating the spring break landscape at Alabama’s two most popular spring break destinations.
via Crimson Tide spring breakers take to Gulf Shores, but keep it low key | AL.com.
In less than two weeks, Baldwin County voters will go to the polls to vote on an additional eight mills property tax increase to build new schools. Opponents to the tax increase showed up at the County Commission meeting Tuesday morning to voice their opinions.
“I feel like we are being held hostage to our children,” one speaker exclaimed.
“There’s a mistrust of the leadership in the school or the education business,” another said.
FOX10 News | WALA
via Opponents to tax increase address Baldwin County Commission – FOX10 News | WALA.
A political action committee (PAC) has been formed for the Build Baldwin Now Campaign, a campaign that was initially funded by taxpayer dollars through permission by the Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBE).
Earlier this month, the Baldwin County Board of Education released that they had spent $156,989.61 in taxpayer money to fund the campaign, which educates voters about a proposed tax increase that would benefit the schools. The campaign also encourages voters to vote ‘yes’ for the 8 mills tax increase, which would stay in place for 30 years if passed.
FOX10 News | WALA
via PAC formed for Build Baldwin Now, BCBE spends more than $35,000 – FOX10 News | WALA.
The scene along West Beach Boulevard was serene and peaceful on Monday afternoon, but just a couple of days ago, Gulf Shores Police said it was very different.
It all started with a sheriff’s deputy who was reportedly trying to stop a suspected drunk driver.
“He observed a vehicle traveling west that he wanted to stop for a traffic violation. So he turned around and just started westbound to stop the vehicle,” Sgt. Jason Woodruff said.
FOX10 News | WALA
via Spring breaker struck by BCSO vehicle, charged with intoxication – FOX10 News | WALA.