December , 2014

The North Mobile Post

News and Commentary from Around the World

    On Friday, Governor Robert Bentley announced that Alabama's unemployment rate dropped in October. ...
    On Monday Facebook announced that it was buying photo sharing service Instagram for ...
    The month of May has been a rough one for the state of ...
    Mobile has made a change in the parade schedule for tomorrow. In ...
    After dominating foreign policy discussions for most of the last decade, Iraq has ...
    Congratulations to Max and his owners on winning the first annual North Mobile ...
    On Sunday a US soldier reportedly killed 16 Afghan civilians. The deaths ...
    Searcy Hospital will close its doors on October 31. It was announced ...
    Saraland, Satsuma, and Chickasaw City schools will all be back in session tomorrow. ...
    Four years ago, the federal government had to bail out the financial sector ...

Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

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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Hiawayi Robinson’s Father Arrested For Her Murder

Posted by David Merrell On December - 16 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    The father of Hiawayi Robinson has been arrested and charged with her murder. Hiawatha Robinson was booked in Mobile County Metro Jail earlier today. On top of the murder charge, Robinson will also be charged with sodomy. A press conference by the Mobile District Attorney’s office and the FBI will be held today at 4:00 PM where more information will be revealed.

    Eight year old Hiawayi went missing on September 16th. Her body was found two days later behind an abandoned building on Rebel Road. A search warrant was issued for Hiawatha’s home on October 2nd. He was arrested three months to the day that Hiawayi was reported missing.

    The trends in child homicides made Hiawayi’s parents prime suspects from the start. According to the Justice Department, between 1980 and 2008, nearly 63% of all homicides for children under 5 involved their parents. Around 33% were killed by their fathers, with 30% killed by their mothers. Only 3% of children under 5 were killed by strangers. While Hiawayi Robinson was slightly older than this age group, the pattern seems to have held true in this case.

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Saraland Man Accidentally Killed By Trash Fire

Posted by David Merrell On December - 13 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    A 95 year old Saraland resident was killed Thursday after his trash fire got out of control. The victim’s identity has not yet been revealed by police. The accident occurred off Lincoln Street.

    The victim realized his brush fire was getting out of control and asked his wife to call the fire department for help extinguishing it. The Saraland Fire-Rescue Department responded to the call, and upon putting out the fire, they discovered the victim’s body. The police were called to investigate at that point.

    Though they are sure the fire caused the victim’s death, the exact cause of death has not yet been revealed. Local 15 News reports that the man’s neighbors claim he had been suffering from health problems.

    Along with cold weather, winter brings falling leaves and dryer conditions. Trash fires are a common sight in our area, but as Thursday’s accident shows, they can be dangerous. Brush fires can easily turn into out of control wildfires if proper precautions are not taken.

    According to the National Fire Protection Association, roughly 57% of all brush fires occur in the South. About 1 in 5 are intentionally set. When burning outdoors, make sure you observe any and all local ordinances, and watch for burn bans. Try to avoid days that are too windy or dry, as they can aid in the spreading of a fire. Keep a close eye on any trash fire, and avoid using gasoline or other flammable liquids to ignite it.

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Wendy Holland Found Guilty

Posted by David Merrell On December - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    Wendy Holland has been found guilty of numerous crimes against children. Holland is connected to the alleged child sex ring that involved the family of missing teenage mother Brittney Wood. The case involves numerous family members, with Holland being the aunt of Brittney Wood.

    The jury reached a guilty verdict after three days of testimony. Holland was found guilty of sexual abuse of a child, sexual torture of a child, first degree sodomy and endangering the welfare of a child. She could face up to 50 years in prison when she is sentenced next month.

    The connection to Brittney Wood lies with the husband of Wendy Holland, the late Donnie Holland. Brittney was last seen riding with Donnie before her disappearance. Donnie was found dead a few days later of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound.

    Thus far, 11 members of the family have been arrested in connection with the child sex ring, which investigators believe could have been going on for generations. Wendy Holland’s trial was the second so far, with 50 year old William Brownlee of Eight Mile having been convicted of second degree sodomy and second degree sexual abuse back in October. While family members had hoped the investigations might reveal the fate of Brittney Wood, that has not been the case as of yet.

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Woman Shot And Killed On Shelton Beach

Posted by David Merrell On December - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    An early morning shooting turned fatal on Shelton Beach yesterday. Police responded to a call at the 1700 block of Shelton Beach Extension at around 3:20 AM. The victim was found lying near her car suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to USA Medical Center where she later died of her injuries.

    The victim has been identified as 55-year-old Dawn Lee. She was killed outside her home in the Onderdock housing community. A motive has yet to be determined. Neighbors described Lee as a nice woman, and have no idea why she was shot.

    Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting. Myles Xavier Smith was taken into custody and charged with murder, as well as possession of a controlled substance. Smith was already facing charges for allegedly shooting a student at ITT Tech earlier this year. He was out on bond from those charges.

    The Lee murder is still under investigation. Anyone with information related to this crime should contact the Mobile Police Department.

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Alabama Power Set To Hike Rates In 2015

Posted by David Merrell On December - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    According to the Associated Press, Alabama Power is planning to raise rates in 2015. The company cited increased costs in explaining the rate hike. Customers can expect to see an increase of about $6.78 on their electric bill.

    One of the factors causing increased costs on the company are new regulations targeting emissions. Alabama Power is having to overhaul some of its coal fired plants in order to reach government guidelines. On June 2, the EPA proposed a new set of rules governing carbon pollution called the Clean Power Plan.

    Scientists believe that carbon dioxide released by power plants, vehicles, and other sources is causing the Earth to grow warmer over time. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which means too much of it in the atmosphere causes the Earth to retain heat by trapping the energy from the sun and not letting it escape back into space. Scientists believe we are already in the beginning stages of such an occurrence, with 2014 on track to possibly be the warmest year on record.

    Power plants are the biggest source of carbon pollution in the US. According to the EPA, power plants account for about 1/3 of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US.

    Several tactics are being used to curb this problem. Clean energy sources such as solar and wind are being deployed more and more each year. Natural gas is also seeing more use thanks to an increase in production in the US. The biggest downside of these options has always been price, but wind and solar have seen their price drop tremendously in the past few years.

    Emissions standards are going to be a hot topic over the next few years. Republicans are set to take over Congress in 2015, and they have already labeled the EPA as a target.

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Dense Fog Advisory This Morning

Posted by David Merrell On December - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

    Our area is under a dense fog advisory until 9:00 AM this morning. Patchy dense fog is scattered along the coast, so be extra careful on your morning commute. Temperatures will once again be mild, with the high reaching around 74 degrees. Overnight lows will be in the lower 50s over the next few nights. This pattern is expected to hold for at least the next week.


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Alabama Wins Thrilling Iron Bowl Over Auburn

Posted by David Merrell On November - 29 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    The Alabama Crimson Tide won a back and forth contest against the Auburn Tigers in the latest installment of the Iron Bowl. Having already clinched the SEC West thanks to Mississippi State’s defeat earlier in the day, Alabama still had a lot on the line with the playoffs on the horizon. A loss to Auburn would have possibly knocked the Tide out of the playoff hunt.

    The 55-44 final score ended up being the highest scoring Iron Bowl of all time. Alabama jumped on top earlier and led 14-6 after the first quarter. Auburn stormed back in the second quarter, scoring 20 points to take a 26-21 halftime lead. The Tigers scored again early in the third after a Blake Sims interception to take their biggest lead of the game at 33-21.

    Alabama took over midway through the third quarter. The Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on 5 straight possessions to take a commanding 55-36 lead. Auburn added a late touchdown and two point conversion once the game was already decided for a final score of 55-44.

    Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper turned in a superstar performance and possibly clinched a spot as a Heisman finalist. Cooper tied his own school record with 224 yards receiving. He caught 13 passes overall, including 3 touchdowns. Cooper’s heroics helped quarterback Blake Sims overcome an inconsistent performance in the second and third quarters. Sims finished with 312 yards passing and 4 touchdowns, but also threw 3 interceptions.

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall had a standout game as well. Marshall threw for 456 yards and 3 touchdowns, with only a single interception. While Marshall torched Alabama threw the air, the vaunted Auburn rushing attack was held relatively in check, gaining only 174 yards on the ground. Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne carried the ball 25 times for 77 yards, but scored no touchdowns.

    Alabama now moves on to the SEC Championship game where they will take on Missouri. A win there will propel them to the first annual college football playoff. Auburn’s next game will be a bowl game that has yet to be decided.

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Tax Increases Coming To Alabama?

Posted by David Merrell On November - 24 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


    Alabama is facing a budget problem. The state needs to come up with around $700 million to sure up its finances. According to the Associated Press, Governor Robert Bentley is now considering tax increases to help fix the budget.

    Governor Bentley has said in the past and continues to state that tax increases are a last resort to fix the budget. Other options are on the table, with even legalized gambling being looked at. The governor has said gambling was not his favorite revenue idea as it is an inexact form of revenue. Gambling is also unpopular with the Republican party’s social conservative base.

    If some form of tax increase is applied, it will likely come in the form of reduced deductions. Alabama is one of a few states in the country that allows tax payers to deduct their FICA taxes and federal income taxes from their state income taxes. While this approach would not amount to a rate increase, tax payers would see their tax bills go up.

    Governor Bentley is running into the same problem GOP governors across the country are facing when it comes to budgets. The promise of tax cuts balancing the budget has come up short in several states. The most notable example of this phenomenon has been Kansas, where Governor Sam Brownback’s extensive tax cuts have decimated the state’s budget.

    Tax cuts need to be paired with budget cuts in order to balance the budget. The stimulative effect of cutting taxes has proven inefficient to cover the lost revenue. We have seen this play out on the national level under President Reagan and George W. Bush. Both presidents cut taxes, but they also ran high deficits due to their failure to trim the budget enough.

    Governor Bentley generally receives favorable scores from conservatives on his spending policies. His tax policy has seen less praise, with the CATO Institute saying it was not inspiring in their 2014 report on the nation’s governors. CATO notes that Governor Bentley has opposed tax increases in the past, but has not pushed for major tax reform. That score is likely to sink further if the governor ends up cutting deductions.

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Mobile Christmas Tree Lighting Tonight

Posted by David Merrell On November - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

    Mobile will hold its annual lighting of the Christmas tree tonight in Bienville Square. The event begins at 5:00 PM, with the actual flipping of the switch to the Christmas tree lights occurring at around 6:10 PM.

    There will be other festivities besides just the lighting of the tree. Pictures with Santa will be offered, as well as a rolling zoo. Free coffee and hot chocolate will be given out by the Salvation Army. Christmas lights along Dauphin and Royal Street will also be lit.

    With Thanksgiving less than a week out, the holiday season has arrived. Christmas sales and decorations can already be found in most stores. Mobile’s Christmas tree lighting could be seen as the kicking off point for the big local celebrations. Christmas parades will be held in many of the outlying cities over the next few weeks.

    Christmas season has been arriving earlier and earlier every year, especially in the shopping department. While Black Friday has long been an American tradition, the sales have been creeping into Thanksgiving day over the past few years. Some stores will begin their sales Thanksgiving morning this year. While this has led to backlash from some consumers, millions are still likely to show up for the sales as they simply can’t afford to miss the deals.


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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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