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November 21, 2014 - Gulf Shores (GSA) and Orange Beach, AL (OBA) – Jingle all the way to the Alabama Gulf Coast as the area gears up for Coastal Christmas, an event series designed to encourage travel during the holiday season. From concerts and carriage rides to a lighted boat parade, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach will offer a variety of events for the whole family to explore.
Stuff the stockings during Small Business Saturdays from Nov. 29 (National Small Business Saturday) through Christmas. The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber along with the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach encourages visitors and locals alike to shop locally at small, independently-owned retailers during the holidays and throughout the year.
November 19, 2014 - Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) — Beginning this past week, the Gulf Shores Police Department began using a facility dog to enhance community-oriented policing mission and aid victims and witnesses of crime in reducing their stress and anxiety as they work through the criminal justice system.
“Mason” is a 2-year old yellow Labrador golden retriever mix, fully trained by Canine Companions for Independence, to aid not only the disabled but to serve as a facility dog.
Mason’s handler is Cpl. Josh Coleman in the department’s Community Affairs section. Cpl. Coleman attended and graduated the Handler’s Training provided by the Southeast Region of Canine Companions for Independence located in Orlando, Fla. Cpl. Coleman returned to Gulf Shores with Mason and immediately began the process of being introduced to the GSPD and City of Gulf Shores family.
This is the first such placement and use in Alabama. Officials praised the assistance of Canine Companions for Independence (www.cci.org) whose knowledge and inspiration guided us in applying for and acquiring Mason.
November 18, 2014 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) - The City of Orange Beach released the following via email to various media outlets on Monday, Nov. 17:
It has been a couple of months since the referendum seeking a tax increase to fund an independent school system in Orange Beach. I have had some time to think about it and recognize how divisive this issue became for our community. This divide concerns me.When I believe in something, I am very passionate about it and work very hard to accomplish the task and most of you know that about me. I hope you will take anything that I said in the spirit in which it was intended and it was never meant to offend or hurt anyone. However, I know I should sometimes talk less and listen more and I am working on that. Hopefully, if I am smart, I will be a better mayor learning from mistakes I made during this time.
There were many people from all walks of life involved in this debate. It was not just a tax issue, an education issue or a parent issue. Residents with many different views voted both for and against this referendum. Everyone was right and no one was wrong. No good guys or bad, it was merely a matter of perspective and opinion.
November 17, 2014 — Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) — Recently, at GSMS, the Student Government Association collected coins for the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. All of the donations will benefit the animals at the zoo.(Pictured: Mrs. Knight, right, and students from her homeroom, Lacey Tillery, MacKenzie Brasher, and Kattie Martinez, present Lindsay Ezell, left, Gulf Coast Zoo program manager, with a donation check.)
The students brought any amount of coins to their homeroom class to donate in order to help raise money for the zoo. On Friday, October 24, there was also an out of uniform day for $2.00 to raise additional money for the zoo. Mrs. Knights homeroom donated the most money, and the zoo brought in animals to visit to say thank you! They raised $90.44 from their class.
In the entire week about $600 was donated. The students were very excited to be able to help! Ansleigh Jordan, a student from GSMS stated, “I think it is an amazing way to raise money for the zoo. It was so fun being able to help the zoo and it is amazing having one so close.”
November 15, 2014 — Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) — Hardworking staff at the Alabama Sheriff's Boys Ranch in Summerdale were assisted by a group from the Gulf Shores Woman’s Club on Oct. 14 in getting ready for a warm holiday celebration at the Ranch.(Pictured from left, with their Christmas wreaths, are Christine Ponder, Barbara Whitman, Kathleen Donaldson, Mindy Harmon, and Sharon Motes.)
Four GSWC members, Gilda Green, Carol Ann Owen, Charlotte Little, and Kathleen Donaldson, brought supplies for making mesh Christmas wreaths and ribbon bows. Joining them in the crafting session from the Ranch were Sharon Motes, “House Mom” to six boys, Barbara Whitman, substitute “House Mom,” Mindy Harmon, wife of Ranch Director Jim Harmon, and Christine Ponder, Ranch secretary.
These four Ranch ladies are dedicated to providing a loving and compassionate home for their boys, and this day gave them a good start on their holiday preparations.
November 15, 2014 — Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) — Congratulations to Gulf Shores Middle School’s 2014 - 2015 Teacher of the Year, Scott Rowe, eighth grade science teacher, FCCLA sponsor and soccer coach.
This is Coach Rowe’s third year at Gulf Shores Middle School. He is a football coach, the head coach for the boys’ soccer team, and the huddle coach for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).
Scott earned his B.S. in Geology at the University of Alabama, and his M.Ed. at the University of Montevallo in 2011. His teaching experiences include: eighth grade physical science, biology, and environmental science.
Some of his hobbies include: backpacking, kayaking, fly-fishing, road and mountain biking, orienteering, trail running, metal etching and photography.
November 14, 2014 — Orange Beach, AL (OBA) — The Orange Beach Police Department has just concluded a 19-month investigation into the sale of illegal drugs in the City of Orange Beach.
This operation was conducted with the oversight of the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office and the cooperation of the City of Gulf Shores and the Foley Police Department. Others assisting in this investigation were the Baldwin County Drug Task Force and the Lawrence County Drug Task Force.
This operation was focused on those who were dealing illegal drugs, not the users of illegal drugs. Investigators built cases on subjects that were selling methamphetamine (ICE), cocaine, spice, marijuana and the diversion of prescription drugs. These cases were presented to a Baldwin County Grand Jury and indictments were issued.
November 14, 2014 - Orange Beach (OBA) and Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) - The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber announced Nov. 7 its plans to launch a season-long "Shop Local" campaign, to be buoyed and formally kicked-off by the Chamber's participation in the national "Small Business Saturday" initiative on Nov. 29.
Small Business Saturday is a "shopping holiday" pioneered by the American Express Company in 2010. The announcement was made by Chamber Vice Chairman John Chamberlain at the organization's monthly First Friday Forum membership breakfast.
"We all know about Black Friday after Thanksgiving, and most of us are also familiar with Cyber Monday the following week," said Chamber Vice Chairman John Chamberlain in making the announcement. "With Small Business Saturday, we want to encourage folks to go out and spend money at locally owned, independent and family-owned small businesses."
November 12, 2014 - Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) - The City of Gulf Shores, the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, and the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance are proud to announce an exciting opportunity for local and regional artists to showcase their work through the new Turtle Tracks Art on Parade program.
Turtle Tracks is a public art project dedicated to the awareness and support of environmental conservation, sustainable tourism, and community arts and culture, while enhancing the quality of life along Coastal Alabama.
All local and regional artists are invited to participate by submitting original designs for the first bale of turtles to be released in 2015. Up to 10 of the submitted designs will be selected and applied to the first bale of turtles with a $500 award for each design chosen. Winning designs will be revealed at an unveiling celebration on March 6, 2015.
All turtle designs must be submitted no later than Nov. 26. Submissions will not be accepted after that date. Artists will not be required to paint or furnish materials to complete the final production of the turtles.
November 12, 2014 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) - Emerging national smooth jazz artist David Jones & Friends will provide the opening performance at the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber's Coastal Christmas with Aaron Neville concert on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at the Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf.
Jones is a teacher at Gulf Shores High School and he brings soul jazz to the head of the class with a critically acclaimed debut project and an electric live performance:
"One of the best and most dedicated new artists we have worked with and his music is in hot rotation with us right now," says Sandy Shore, founder and President of Smooth Jazz .
"David Jones channels Boz Scaggs and Donald Fagen with his voice, and when you add the versatility on the horn, simply put David Jones is the man!" says Brian Clay, smooth jazz recording artist and syndicated radio host of "Jazzspirations Live."
"Coastal Christmas with Aaron Neville" will signal the official kick-off of the Chamber's Coastal Christmas season, which actually runs from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year's Day.
November 11, 2014 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) - Join us on Saturday, Nov. 15 for our first "Meet the Makers event, For the Love of Oysters," featuring six different Alabama oyster farmers serving up some of the finest and freshest oysters you can find.
Meet the Makers is a series where we connect you to the women and men responsible for growing your food, and that's important. The fine folks at Alabama's Back Forty Beer Co. will have lots of their beer on hand and we'll have college football on the TV's.
Dr. Bill Walton, aka Dr. Oyster, with the Auburn Shellfish Lab will be here to discuss all things oyster.
Limited tickets are available at Fisher's Orange Beach Marina at the restaurant.
Fisher's at Orange Beach Marina, 27075 Marina Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, 251-981-7305.
November 9, 2014 - Gulf Shores (GSA) and Orange Beach (OBA), AL – Coming off three consecutive record-breaking years for tourism following the BP Oil Spill, 2014 is expected to continue the upward trend for Alabama’s beaches. Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (GSOBT) projects $375 million in total lodging revenue for 2014, a whopping 7.1 percent increase over 2013.
“Gulf Shores and Orange Beach saw an unprecedented 5.4 million visitors in 2013, and we are on track to beat that record in 2014,” Herb Malone, president and CEO of GSOBT, said. “More guests means more business for retailers, lodging providers, restaurants, attractions and more as a direct result of tourism, and increased business means more jobs.”
November 8, 2014 - Gulf Shores, AL (GSA) – Christmas is just around the corner and the City of Gulf Shores is once again gearing up to celebrate with a full array of holiday events.
Whether it’s marveling at the magical glow of the lighted parade or rocking to holiday tunes with multi-platinum artists Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, families young and old are invited to join in on the excitement of the season.
“The City of Gulf Shores is proud to be partnering with the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and local businesses in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to promote the Coastal Christmas campaign,” said Grant Brown, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director. “We encourage all businesses to participate by decorating for the season to help our community become an unforgettable holiday destination.”
November 7, 2014 - Orange Beach, AL (OBA) — Dollar General arrived at Orange Beach Elementary School this morning ready to start a revolution.
Company representatives carried a yellow and black box with a very special gift inside. When school leaders opened the box in front of a classroom of curious students, they were surprised and elated to find a check for $40,000!
November 6, 2014 — Gulf Shores, AL — In honor of Veterans Day, Alabama State Parks will waive the entrance fees for veterans Nov. 8-11.
Anyone who indicates they are a veteran will be admitted free into park areas that normally charge an entrance fee. Gulf State Park is also offering veterans a free round of golf on Veterans Day, Tuesday. Veterans must be accompanied by at least one paying golfer.
“Veterans have been leaders in the development of state parks and other public lands across the country. Several of Alabama’s state parks were created with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed numerous veterans,” said Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein. “Although Veterans Day is officially celebrated on just one day, Nov. 11, we are waiving the entrance fee for a four-day period to make it easier for families to visit a park together. Fall is an especially good time to be outdoors because of the milder temperatures and changing leaf colors.”