January , 2015

The North Mobile Post

News and Commentary from Around the World

    Chickasaw joins Satsuma as the only two towns in Mobile County to have ...
1. Alabama Crimson Tide 2. LSU Tigers 3. Oklahoma Sooners 4. Boise State Broncos 5. ...
    After a week on the run, Derek Wood is back in police custody. ...
    Americans have been in love with automobiles for a century. In parts ...
    The National Weather Service has now confirmed that at least 23 tornado's hit ...
    A house fire in Satsuma has claimed a resident's home. According to ...
    In a surprising turn of events on the world stage, the US is ...
    For the second time in the last month, initial jobless claims dropped dramatically. ...
    Tropical Storm Karen has gone out with a whimper. The storm dissolved ...
    The number of violent crimes in Mobile dropped in 2012 according to a ...

Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Saraland Voters Approve New School Tax

Posted by David Merrell On January - 28 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Saraland seal

    Saraland voters took to the polls yesterday to vote on a property tax increase in order to fund improvements to the school system. The measure passed comfortably, with 62% voting in favor of the increase and 38% voting against. Property taxes will now increase by 7.5 mill, or about $75 for a $100,000 home.

    Saraland schools Superintendents Dr. Aaron Milner said this will be the last time the system asks for additional money. Dr. Milner said he believes the investment is a worthy one for residents, as a good school system brings higher property values.

    Saraland sought the tax increase to expand their growing school system. The student population has roughly doubled since Saraland broke off from the Mobile County Public School System a few years ago. The young system was already facing problems with overcrowding. With the additional funding, the school board plans to add 10 additional classrooms to Saraland High School and bid on two additional school buses.

    The new additions are expected to be ready by the 2016-2017 school year.

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Alabama’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted by David Merrell On January - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


    Alabama became the 37th state where same-sex marriage will be legal after a federal judge threw out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages yesterday. The ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade at the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The ruling negated Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act.

    The case was brought by a same-sex couple, Cari Searcy and Kimberly Mckeand, who were married in California in 2008 but have lived in Mobile since 2011. The couple have been together for over 14 years.

    The ruling, like many others across the nation, followed in the footsteps of the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Bans on same-sex marriage have been ruled in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on same-sex marriage later this year and possibly settle the issue across the nation once and for all.

    State Attorney General Luther Strange has asked for a stay on the ruling until the Supreme Court settles the matter later this year. Strange claims that irreparable harm would be done if same-sex marriages were allowed now and the Supreme Court later allows the bans to be put back into place. He also said that granting a stay would not harm the Plaintiffs.

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Fatal Crash On Highway 45

Posted by David Merrell On January - 20 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


    Two people were killed yesterday afternoon in a head on collision on Highway 45. The victims have been identified as 38-year-old Eddye Lee Rivers Jr. of Mobile and 23-year-old Stephanie Marie Stevens of Chunchula. Two other victims were riding with Rivers and had to be taken to local hospitals for treatment.

    The accident occurred about 3 miles north of Prichard near mile marker 14. Stevens was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram, while Rivers was riding in a 1992 Chevrolet Blazer. All of the victims were ejected from their vehicles in the crash, as they were not wearing their seat belts.

    The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

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Mobile Listed As One Of 15 Hottest Cities

Posted by David Merrell On January - 13 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


    MSN has picked Mobile as one of the 15 “hottest” cities for 2015. The Microsoft affiliated website is not referring to temperature, but rather the city’s economic prospects for the coming year. In the article, MSN declared that Mobile will become the southern trading hub of the US.

    The article points out that Mobile has the 9th largest port in the nation. Expansion of coal exports at the McDuffie Coal Terminal were specifically highlighted as a source of strength for the port’s growth. The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce even won the “E” Star Award for Export Services last May.

    With the US relaxing the embargo against Cuba, Mobile’s port could see a whole new level of growth. The port city is located close to the island nation, and businesses are already salivating at the economic possibilities closer ties could bring.

    On top of the port’s growing success, Mobile is about to become the home of the first Airbus manufacturing facility in the US. The European jet maker will bring thousands of new jobs once the plant opens, and has already created many new construction jobs with the building of the plant.

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Hard Freeze Warning Tonight

Posted by David Merrell On January - 7 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


    A Hard Freeze Warning has been issued for Mobile County. The warning is in effect from midnight tonight to 10:00 AM tomorrow morning. Temperatures will dip below freezing by 10:00 PM and will not go above the mark until roughly 11:00 AM. A wind advisory is also in effect from noon today until midnight tonight.

    Temperatures will drop all the way into the low 20s tonight as the Gulf Coast is blasted by arctic air. The northern wind will make the temperature feel even colder on your skin. If you have to be outside in this weather, be sure to dress in layers and bring along gloves and a hat to keep yourself from losing heat.

    Precautions should also be taken for those who will be staying home tonight. Make sure any outdoor pipes are covered, and drip water from your faucets to prevent your pipes from freezing and possibly busting. If using space heaters, make sure there are no objects too close to them that could catch fire. If using a fireplace, make sure you have a fire screen in place.

    Pets and sensitive plants should be brought indoors. If you can’t bring your pet inside, make sure it has a warm place to stay and access to water that won’t freeze over.

    Those with elderly or disabled friends or relatives should check in on them to make sure they are taken care of if possible. Many seniors live in older homes with inadequate heating. Not everyone keeps a close eye on the weather, and severe weather events like the one we are facing tonight can catch many off guard.

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Cold Temperatures Coming This Week

Posted by David Merrell On January - 4 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS


    After a relatively mild December, cold temperatures return to the forecast this week. Rain will be clearing out as the day goes on, and the temperature will begin to drop. The next three days will feature overnight lows in the upper 30s.

    The real cold gets here by midweek. Wednesday will feature a low temperature of 23 degrees according to weather.com, and the high will only be 49. Thursday’s low will be 27, but the high will only be 40. Things begin to warm slightly on Friday, with a low temp of 32 and a high of 48.

    There does not appear to be any rain in the forecast this week, so the rain gear can be put back into the closet. Trading it in for a nice winter coat is probably a good idea. Rain is expected to return late in the weekend and early next week.

    January and February are typically the coldest months along the Gulf Coast, so expect to see more cool temps over the coming weeks. Our typical pattern involves a day or two of rain as a cold front moves through, followed by a northern wind and plunging temperatures.

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New Law Could Ban Animal Sales At Flea Market

Posted by David Merrell On December - 31 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    Yesterday, the Mobile city council heard arguments about a proposal to end the sale of animals at the flea market. The proposed ordinance would be part of a larger animal control overhaul. Selling animals at the flea market would become a Class B Misdemeanor. The ordinance would also make it easier to prosecute those guilty of animal cruelty.

    The council heard arguments both for and against the proposal. Vendors were there to defend their business. Among the changes proposed by the vendors were requiring a license to sell animals at the flea market. Most obviously thought an outright ban was going too far.

    Critics pointed out that the conditions the animals were in was not acceptable. A veterinarian said that the animals were often sick with contagious diseases, some of them even fatal. Vendors were accused of gross negligence, and only being concerned with lining their pockets.

    The proposed ordinance would also overhaul rules surrounding animal cruelty and animal hoarding. Prosecuting offenders would become much easier under the ordinance. Hoarding has become a particularly recurring problem.

    The ordinance has been sent to the Public Safety Commission. It will be discussed on January 6th. A vote is expected on January 13th.

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Possible Bear Attack In Citronelle

Posted by David Merrell On December - 27 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    A dog owner in Citronelle believes his companion was attacked by a black bear this week. The attack occurred near Lambert Cemetery Road and Celeste Road. The condition of the dog, a beagle, is unknown, but it suffered deep cut wounds.

    According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, there has been an increase in black bears in Mobile County. Residents report the same thing, as bear sightings are becoming more common. Two factors are leading to an increase in bear sightings, the first being that the animals are protected by law. The second reason sightings are more common is that more people are moving on to their territory.

    Mobile County isn’t the only place seeing an increase in bear activity. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission killed two adult black bears and relocated two cubs this week after a teenage girl was attacked in the Eastpoint community near Apalachicola.

    Black bear attacks are rare. Around 63 people have been killed by black bears since 1900, though there has been a marked increase since 1960 due to expansion into the black bear’s habitat. Unlike grizzly bears, black bears are very timid and will usually run away from people. Attacks usually come from bears in remote areas who are not used to humans.

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Hiawatha Robinson Pleads Not Guilty To Gun Charge

Posted by David Merrell On December - 22 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    Hiawatha Robinson plead not guilty to a gun charge today in federal court. The charge is not related to the murder charges Robinson faces for the death of his daughter, Hiawayi Robinson. The gun charge stems from a search of Robinson’s home on October 2nd where a 12 gauge shotgun was found.

    As a 3 time convicted felon, Robinson is not allowed to possess a firearm. Under US law, a convicted felon possessing a firearm is a Class C felony. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

    Robinson has an extensive criminal history. He has previously been convicted of third degree burglary, first degree possession of marijuana, and a second degree count of receiving stolen property. Robinson is also currently facing murder and sodomy charges.

    The new charges will not affect Robinson’s murder trial. District Attorney Ashley Rich plans to move forward immediately with her case against Robinson, stating the two cases won’t slow each other down.

    Robinson’s attorney was waiting to see the U.S. Attorney’s Office case against his client before commenting, though he did question how they would connect the firearm to his client. Hiawatha was not present when the search warrant was executed, and apparently does not own the home where it was found.

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Alabama Unemployment Rate Down To 6%

Posted by David Merrell On December - 20 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    Alabama’s unemployment rate has once again fell, and now stands at 6%. This figure is down from 6.3% in October. The state is still slightly above the national average of 5.8%. Roughly 126,000 people remain unemployed in Alabama.

    Overall, the national economy continues to grow, and unemployment continues to fall. While divided government in Washington could provide some roadblocks next year, a big budget battle was avoided this month as Congress passed a bipartisan bill to fund the government. Most economic metrics point to continued growth in 2015.

    Mobile got a potential dose of good news with the White House’s decision to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. If Congress takes the next step and kills the embargo, Mobile stands to profit handsomely due to its close proximity to the island nation. The city has one of the closest ports to Cuba. Trade, cruise ships, and much more could be coming if ties continue to deepen.

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The North Mobile Post was founded in April of 2011. The site serves as a blog covering Mobile County as well as news from around the world.

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